United City essentially kept the services of skipper Stephan Schrock as the club formerly known as Ceres Negros signed the midfielder into a new contract that will make him available for the 2020 Philippines Football League (PFL) season and the continuation of the AFC Cup group stages.
According to United City, Schrock, who first became stellar in the Bundesliga before eventually returning home to captain both the club and the national team, received offers from overseas-based squads before eventually deciding to technically stay put.
“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,” said United City co-founder Eric Gottschalk yesterday.
Gottschalk added that he has been talking with the 33-year-old Schrock regarding the latter’s career path in the future especially as he is reaching the tail end of his prime, particularly plans to become a coach.
“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,” Gottschalk continued.
In what Gottschalk calls “a first step to fulfill his ambition to become a fully certified football coach in the coming years,” Schrock was also named a playing assistant coach for United City.
With Schrock staying, Gottschalk now plans to keep at least the “key local talents” from the old Ceres Negros lineup, although he said in a previous statement that 16 players have committed to join the re-branded club.
The full roster of United City will be revealed within the week, although it could happen as early as today as the club scheduled an online press launch.*PNA