Starting ‘em young


Football is once again alive and literally kicking in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental.

Helping rejuvenate wide interest in the sport after the pandemic and the short-lived national domination by the Bacolod-based Ceres Football Club is the Brazilian Jericho Soccer Academy in the province, which is under the direction of John Carmona, former football national team member and La Salle and Recoletos varsity standout.

Carmona is the franchise holder of the BJSA hub, which is based in Singapore with the “mission to develop youth players to play football the Brazilian way.”

Brazil has won five FIFA World Cup crowns, the most by any country and has produced legendary futboleros, like Pele, Garrincha, Ronaldo and Zico.


BJSA recently brought to Bacolod City another national tournament, the National Invitational Cup, which was played in four categories – U-8, U-10, U-12 and U-13.

The invitational was held at the La Provincia Open Fields in Barangay Granada, Bacolod City on Feb. 24 and 25.

Carmona said that, through the tournament, “we hope to bring quality matches to Bacolod City and expose our local players to the big football clubs in Metro Manila and other parts of the country.”

Participants in the BJSA National Invitational Cup held in Bacolod City this month
BJSA Executive John Carmona

The Davao Crocs dominated the tourney by winning in the competitions of the three younger age groups and placing second in U-13, which was ruled by Cebu Don Bosco FC.

The Dolphins of Negros Occidental and Bacolod City placed second runner-up in the U-8, U-12 and U-13.

Other football clubs in the tournament were the Azkals Development Academy, which placed second in U-8 and U-10, and Real Amigos of Ormoc City which placed second and third in U-12 and U-10, respectively.

The competition was sponsored by Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer, Milo, Nestle, Coca-Cola, Spurway Enterprise, BongBong’s and Bantug Ranch.

Visiting coaches, Carmona said, complimented the hosts for the well-managed competition and promised to participate again in future events.

The Inter-Club invitational is held two to three times annually.


In addition to the national invitation, BJSA manages various soccer festivals, among them the Havaianas Cup, Sinadya Cup, MassKara Cup, Dolphins Cup and Maxcom Cup.

To keep the Negrense youth’s soccer interest going, BJSA holds the monthly Milo 3v4 events and the weekly trainings – at La Provincia Open Fields at Granada at 3 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and at St. John’s ballfield at Ayala North Point Campus held Saturday at 4 p.m.

Saturday trainees


To further enhance skills of young players, especially after introducing them to the sport, BJSA conducts quarterly trainings, including the summer camp.

The Academy is engaged in the starting-‘em-young approach in its soccer development programs. It welcomes children as young as 4 years old up to 18 in its fold of trainees.

Carmona and his staff are currently at the peak of preparations for the academy’s summer camp in April. The camp is open in two categories – beginners and advance players. Sessions will be held morning and afternoon for three days, the BJSA official said.

Activities in the soccer camp include lectures and motivational talks, including value orientation, physical fitness and actual game sessions.

He said parents interested to enrol in the academy can contact him at Tel. No. 09063647917 or the BJSA Facebook account.

Our mission is to help boys and girls develop their love for football at an early age and to enhance their football skills with the proper values and discipline and the drive for excellence, Carmona reiterated. | AVDC