Local Football

The Legacy of Mr. Football, Stephan Schröck

After having a two-year sabbatical from international football back in 2016, Stephan Schröck not only represented the Philippines well in the international stages in his return but also earned the respect from everyone in the local football scene.

Thanks to his contribution to the sport over the last year, Stephan Schröck received his second Mr. Football award from the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) last March 6, 2020, at the Manila Hotel where other sports personalities received their awards.

To be regarded as Mr. Football once in your career is already an honour as it is a testament to your hard work and contribution to football but when you receive the same award twice, this goes to show that your impact to the sport itself as well as to the people watching it.

Moving Forward Everyday

“I simply love to compete. My main rival is myself. I want to do better than I did last year and the year before. Approaching training like a rookie every day is basic for staying grounded,” said Schröcky on how he keeps moving forward.

He also added, “I’m having estimated 150-180 training sessions more than the team trains a year. I learned that the only thing that follows work is results.”

Given the fact that he plays as a midfielder which requires most of the work to produce the goalscoring opportunities, Schröcky needs to be in tip-top shape every single game he plays.

Being a midfielder requires not only talent, but also quick decision-making, awareness of space as well as the ability to off-load the ball in a split-second if a goalscoring opportunity comes.

Schröcky revolutionized this position to fit the style of play here in the Philippines. Often played as a central midfielder or a left-midfielder by coach Risto Vidakovic, the Alpha Male doesn’t stay in one position only.

He tends to run deep into the backline of the opposition making him a pseudo-target man upfront giving spaces to either Robert Lopez-Mendy or Bienvenido Marañon to take a strike from the centre.

This also gives him a chance to be a silent-but-deadly type of player who can strike from outside the box once he receives the ball from the left side.

Another thing he’s done to introduce a different style of midfielder here in the country is his ability to run around the pitch, gain possession and create chances even from the back.

A thing needed from any midfielder, let alone any type of player in a league that we have here in the country. Filipinos tend to be physical in their gameplay.

However, brute force is not the only way to win matches. You also have to make sure you use your head and make the right decisions for your club. A thing that makes Schröcky stand out from the rest.

More Silverware, More Legacy

2019 saw quite a decorated year for the Alpha Male where he’s been pivotal as well for the rise of the quality of football in the country. It was the year where we saw the unbeaten run of the three-time PFL Champions Ceres-Negros FC and the Philippines’ maiden appearance in the AFC Asian Cup.

However, despite finishing 2019 with some huge achievements, Schröck still aims to move forward for his club and country and gather as many trophies as possible.

“Winning every trophy with my club Ceres-Negros FC; the league, cup and also the zonal trophy of the 2020 AFC Cup. With The Azkals, I want to write history by winning the AFF Suzuki Cup and take the opportunity to advance into the next round of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers,” said the Alpha Male regarding the achievements he’d still like to get this year.

Who built the Alpha Male?

Behind every legend is a stronger reason to keep moving forward. Someone or something that makes a better version of yourself every day.

“My mother, of course, played a major role as well as my wife and my kids,” said Schröck regarding his inspirations.

He also added, “Many people had a major impact on my path and I’m very grateful to have met them. Through the goods and the bads, the coaches and the clubs have formed me in, a way.”

However, his self-motivation still played a huge factor in his drive for success over the years of dominating the sport here in the Philippines.

“None of them goes to the gym for me. No one does the diet, no one can take the hits or will play with an injury for me. No one gets up at six in the morning to do the runs for me. It’s important to have the support, a small honest circle. But the effort, the effort is only between me and me only.”

How far will you go?

When an athlete reaches peak form, achieved everything and possibly found his/her successor, one can truly say that they were able to reach legendary status.

However, for a certain Mr. Football, things doesn’t stop when he achieved it all or even when he found the next one who will receive the baton from him.

“There is no particular achievement that will make me say that’s it. I’m in advanced age for a pro athlete, but still, there aren’t many who can match my work rate, on and off the pitch,” said Schröck.

It’s all about what’s currently happening. He said, “The present moment is that what matters, and I enjoy football a lot.”

This one’s for you

When all has been said and done, Stephan Schröck’s only confirmation for all the deed he has done for Philippine Football is his fans. Those who have been supporting him since day one and those who did not turn his back on him.

“I’m so grateful for all the people, the fans and for my surroundings, that they believe in me and supported me,” said the Alpha Male.

He also hopes that the young ones be inspired by how he worked his way up the Philippine Football ladder. “I wish so many kids one day can follow my path and experience what I have experienced. All young players can achieve that. I’m not a special human being. I’m like all of you.”

“Football gave me everything I have in life. There is not one day where I don’t drink, eat and sleep football.”

All it took for Schröcky to make it where he is right now is his sheer dedication to the sport and the belief of making it to the big stages someday. With everything he has achieved and will possibly achieve in the future, this is just what he has to say.

“When you are willing to put in the work and make the sacrifices that come along your path, that’s when you can say you really love what you’re doing. Enjoy the pain and embrace the difficulties.”

Photos by: The Philippine Football Federation, Philippines Football League, Ceres-Negros FC

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