Green horn Ilocos United had showed it got what it takes to be in the class of the country’s better teams as it eked out draw with seasoned Davao Aguilas, 1-all, at the swank Quirino Stadium in Bantay, Ilocos Sur recently. Skipper John Kanayama converted his penalty kick in the 78th minute to give Ilocos United its first point in the maiden season of Philippine Football League that replaced the United Football League. 19-year old Fil-Belgian Dylan de Bruycker eluded several defenders before drawing first blood for the Aguilas in the 50th minute. “Ilocos United’s result is very encouraging, especially if taken against the backdrop that Ilocanos have never been known to be good football players or plain enthusiasts,” Gov. Ryan Singson said. Singson bared, “Our forming the Ilocos United FC was founded on the notion that Filipinos can be highly competitive in international football considering that height is not a factor in this sport.” To prop up his team in the long run, Singson has embarked on a province-wide football development program with also a view to pushing football to rival basketball as the top sport in Ilocos Sur. The Ilocos United FC mentored by Scot Ian Gillian will play a pivotal role in the program. For starters, United in coordination with the Provincial Sports Committee will conduct clinics three times a week at the Quirino pitch. Eventually all the schools in the province will be covered. The friendly pitting the Philippine Azkals against Australian Perth Glory July of last year kindled the football fever in Ilocos Sur. “Not too far in the future, Ilocos Sur will emerge as one of the centers for football excellence in the country and a host of Ilocanos will be strutting their wares in the professional football league, “Singson concluded.