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Stephan Schrock 'stays' with United City, named playing assistant coach

Stephan Schrock will still lead the way for the re-branded club formerly known as Ceres Negros. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Stephan Schrock is staying put, technically, that is.

The investment group that took over the former Ceres Negros franchise succeeded in essentially retaining the services of the club's longtime captain as announced on Tuesday.

According to the club now known as United City, Schrock, who first played in the German Bundesliga before joining the team in 2016, had to say no to offers that would have brought him back abroad before re-signing in essence with the team for the 2020 PFL season.

"It would have been a big loss for Philippine football if the captain would leave the PFL to compete elsewhere. His commitment to the local league shows his seriousness of trying to make a difference," United City co-founder Eric Gottschalk said in a statement. "Having Stephan commit to stay at the new club means a lot not just to the organization but also to the fans. He is the captain and the leader of the team and that is what is needed especially since we are trying to establish our new identity on and off the field."

He then said that Schrock, while keeping his captaincy, will also serve as a playing assistant coach to chief tactician Risto Vidakovic.

"Stephan is very clear of where he wants to go: he wants to be able to compete at the highest level and be able to win more tiles but he also wants to prepare for his second career once he steps off the field–so our objectives are aligned perfectly well. So for the 2020 season, Stephan will not only lead the team on the field as captain but also off the field as a playing assistant coach/trainer, as a first step to fulfill his ambition to become a fully certified football coach in the coming years," Gottschalk further said.

The full lineup of United City for the PFL season may be unveiled as early as Wednesday, when it holds its official press launch.

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