Know Your Sparks: Simon Greatwich

Joined Sparks in: 2012
Achievements: UFL Cup, PFF National Club Championship

How did you get started with the sport of football?

Just when I was younger. My dad had a big passion for football, it was a big sport in England. Both my brothers were keen footballers so you kind of tend to follow big brothers’ footsteps. We’d just go to the local park with a couple of footballs, kick around, learn some skills and things like that, and I picked it up quite quickly. I developed a big passion for it myself, and got hooked in it. 

What is your favorite aspect of the game?

I think it’s the competitiveness. You’re basically working with your best mates, so to come to work everyday to try to win trophies with your team mates is always a good thrill.

What does it mean to be playing for the Loyola Meralco Sparks?

I mean obviously, any kids’ dream in England growing up, you wanna be a professional footballer. Unfortunately it didn’t work out for me in England playing at pro level. I mean I was at a pro club my whole youth career, unfortunately I didn’t get a senior contract. So when I got offered to come here on a permanent basis, it’s something I couldn’t refuse. It’s my mother’s homeland, I knew that it was lovely out here when I came out to visit the first time. I really fell in love with the country from day one.  Even when I was eighteen or nineteen years old I realized, ‘You know what, I think in the future, I can see myself living here permanently.’

The football scene here was improving, so the fact that, you know, I was part of the influence, of the pioneers who helped try to make football big here is fantastic. It blew up in 2010 and when the league turned professional here, it was another stepping stone to really help push football so that excites me a lot. 

Strengths you bring to the team:

I think experience playing for the national team. I see myself as both a playmaker and and a really hard worker. I like to get on the ball, create things from midfield moving forward. I work to break up the play, helping out my defenders, and also tend to cover a lot of ground. I express my competitive edge a lot. I try to get my team mates going through out the game, from start to finish, making sure that everyone’s playing at high tempo and encouraging the boys throughout. 

What are your expectations with the team?

So far since I’ve been with the club, we’ve won two trophies. We’ve won the UFL Cup and the Smart Championships. It excites me to try and win the league. We fell short last few seasons, but every single year I think we’re getting a stronger squad, a mix of local talents and Filipino-foreigners, and some of the foreign players as well, so the standard gets better from each competition that we enter. To complete the next set of trophies is definitely the target and if it doesn’t happen, then moving forward, I’m confident that for the upcoming Cup, we definitely stand a chance to bag that trophy as well. 

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