Football: 2 Pinays to play in Japan's pro league


Posted at Jun 01 2021 07:32 PM

Football: 2 Pinays to play in Japan's pro league 1
Filipina footballer Sarina Bolden will play for Chifure AS Elfen Saitama in Japan's WE League starting this September. Photo courtesy of Mia Montayre/PFF. 

MANILA, Philippines -- Two Filipina players will compete in the first-ever professional women's football league in Japan, the WE (Women Empowerment) League.

The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) announced Tuesday that national team standouts Quinley Quezada and Sarina Bolden will compete in the trailblazing league that kicks off in September 2021.

The pair was among those nominated by the PFF as the country's ASEAN players to the WE League last March 2021.

Bolden will join Chifure AS Elfen Saitama, while Quezada will play for JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies.

"When I found out, I felt overjoyed," said Quezada. "I can't thank the people who've helped and supported me throughout this process enough. I'm immensely grateful, excited for this opportunity, and I can't wait to get started."

"I am so thankful and blessed to still be able to play the game, especially after a challenging past year that was filled with a lot of uncertainty," said Bolden. 

"I thank the PFF for helping and supporting me throughout this process and the WE League for cultivating diversity, empowering women, and making it bigger than just soccer. I am absolutely thrilled and honored to be a part of the WE League's historic first season this year," she added.

PFF officials welcomed their signing to the WE League clubs.

"The beautiful game always opens the opportunity for everyone to play at the highest level. We thank the Japan Football Association for extending the invitation to our Filipino players to play in the WE League," said PFF president Mariano "Nonong" Araneta.

PFF secretary-general Atty. Ed Gastanes predicted that Quezada and Bolden won't be the last Filipinas to see action in Japan.

"(They) will inspire other women football players in the country to continue developing their skills for a chance to play in the international stage," he said.