FORMER Worthing Football Club assistant manager Simon McMenemy has gone from the dug-out at Woodside Road to become an international manager with Philippines in the space of four months. McMenemy, who left Rebels with Simon Colbran at the end of last season after one year at the club, flew out to the Philippines on Monday after being offered the job just nine days earlier. He will be on a two-month probabtion period before, if things go well, he will sign a one-year deal.
The 32-year-old was manager at County League Haywards Heath before his spell at Worthing and, before the call, was going to be playing football for Franklands Village in the Mid Sussex League this season.
He said: "Haywards Heath to Worthing to the Philippines. It's quite a big step but I had to grab the chance.
"At 32, to call myself a national team manager is a massive statement.
"Things have gone 100 miles an hour. I've had nine days to prepare, my fiancée is coming out with me for the first two months, and everything has been very rushed. If I stopped to think about it, I might get cold feet. It's something I've got to do and there's no denying it will look fantastic on my CV.
"I'm stepping into the unknown. When I get there, I've got a four-week training camp, then we're off to Taiwan for a couple of weeks for a training camp and a couple of friendlies, then we're into qualifying for the Suzuki Cup, where we will play Laos, Cambodia and Timor Leste.
"If we get through that, then we'll come up against some of the bigger teams, like Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, so I could get to coach against Bryan Robson, which would be some experience."
McMenemy first heard about the job through Simon and Phil Greatwich, who played for Lewes and the Philippines, and they encouraged him to apply for the job.
Five weeks after applying, McMenemy heard back from the Philippines FA and after a couple of interviews over the phone and conference calls, he got the job. He said: "I'll be looking at the coaching when I'm there and will see if I can tweak anything to improve things and make it more effective.
"I've spent my fair share of time in the Far East, and got one international cap for Brunei, so I have some understanding of their style of football.
I've got two months to go out there and prove myself as an individual. "I'm untested at this level and have to prove I can do the job."