|Brosi Gonzales/UFL (file photo)|
By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA--After begging off from league competition this season, Nomads will make a comeback to the UFL next year.
"Nomads will be back! We will be in the UFL next year in the second division," Coach Eric Antoine said to Dugout Philippines on Thursday night.
A founding member of the league, Nomads, the oldest existing football club in the Philippines, played in the top-flight division for two seasons.
The franchise management then decided to concede its spot in Division 1 in 2014 and went back to Division 2 owing to problems regarding the then new foreign player cap rule limiting the number of imports per club to five. Nomads has been primarily composed of British expats.
Before the start of the 2015 season, Nomads opted not to participate in the league so that it can focus more on building a roster that will adhere to the foreign player cap.
Nomads, however, still participated in the UFL Cup, and the club, which finished outside of the top 16, made the playoffs following the disqualification to Global.
Proving that it can still be a good team despite the year off, Antoine bared that prior to his club's Thursday night match against Kaya, a 10-1 victory by the latter, Nomads never lost in seven straight matches including a friendly win against newly-promoted Laos.
"We went on a seven-match unbeaten run, beating Laos, Kaya's B-Team, and Navy, and getting [good] results against UFL teams, so that shows... we can be a quality UFL team," Antoine continued.
While Antoine continues to try building a solid lineup that will still adhere to the five-import rule, he revealed that he will keep the core of his current squad.
"We will start training as soon as possible, keep the core together, and build on the friendly matches we had in between the cup; and we will be ready for the UFL Second Division next year.