23 December 2010

Changes up in Azkal cast

By Abac Cordero

MANILA, Philippines – There may be changes coming up in the composition of the Philippine football team that’s coming off a Cinderella run in the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup.

“There will be changes but the core of the team will remain,” said team manager Dan Palami following the Azkals’ aborted run to reach the finals of the tournament.

Palami said even coach British Simon McMenemy will be evaluated, as well as the players, including the seven Fil-foreigners and the bunch of locals.

“I think the core of the team will be there. We just need to add a few options, more especially in offense. It should allow Phil (Younghusband) and rest of the guys to attack more,” he said.

The Azkals made the country proud, and their opposition take a more serious look at them following an impressive showing that included draws against Singapore and Myanmar and a big 2-0 win over Vietnam.

Against the mighty Indonesians, the Azkals dropped identical 1-0 defeats when there were chances of winning or at least salvaging a draw.

“We still need to improve. It’s not just the coach but all of the players will be evaluated. And from there we will know what steps to take,” said Palami.

But it doesn’t mean that he’s disappointed with the outcome. Certainly not.

“It was a good run for the Philippines. We weren’t expected to reach this level. And now that we know what we can achieve, the next tournament will be more exciting for us. A lot of players will be coming in as well. We can make some changes to make sure we have more options

“We can look forward to a better team in the coming years,” he said, adding that this early, the Azkals are getting invitations to play in other countries, including one in Vietnam.

A couple of players, including star goalie Neil Etheridge, team captain Aly Borromeo and youthful Jason De Jong, are being offered playing contracts in Indonesia.

Franco Lorenzo, one of the team officials, said the offers actually came on the eve of the match, but they kept the players within safe distance because they weren’t really sure what it was all about.

“It was on the eve of the biggest match of our lives and we don’t know what kind of offers were to be made,” said the official.

McMenemy is also facing offers to coach other teams, like Vietnam, Indonesia and Australia, but said he’d rather stay with the Azkals.

Whatever, Palami said he’s looking forward to a busy year for the Azkals.

“Now everybody knows we can play decent football,” he said.



  1. The Players of the team is being offered to play in other ASIAN countries , BELIEVABLE !!! but I doubt if your coach has the same offer. And now he has become so patriotic to stay with the AZKALS , UNBELIEVABLE !!!

  2. For money they will play elsewhere, after all, they have financial responsibilities. But for glory, they all come home to the national side.

  3. Nice to here that our boys are getting offers. Coach Simon!...Nice to hear you'll be staying!..wag mo kaming iwan ha

  4. I think Mcemeny would love to coach here as of personal reasons also. I guess its easier for him to communicate to the players with the language and I doubted it would be easier for him to do so if he coach Vietnam and Indonesia. Unlike from Americans, most Europeans never ever had the idea that Filipinos can speak English very well. Communication is very important esp when he want the players to follow the strategy that he want to apply in the game and I believe thats why the azkals were successful not just because of their personal abilities but of course because theyre listening to the coach and they execute it perfectly.

    What I believe, he felt the atmosphere and the people and I hope the people will support him more. Anyway, guys like em are very friendly.

  5. I think it is the correct thing to do to evaluate every player and the coach. That shows the PFF are a professional organization and there are no sacred cows. But can you actually give Mcmenemy any other rating except "Outstanding"? The only way he can be given a lower rating and get the boot is if the expectation was to win the championship (I hope I dint strike a raw nerve, eh Calisto? you asshole..I still havent forgotten your arrogance and refusal to shake hands).

    To this guy who commented:

    The Players of the team is being offered to play in other ASIAN countries , BELIEVABLE !!! but I doubt if your coach has the same offer. And now he has become so patriotic to stay with the AZKALS , UNBELIEVABLE !!!

    Again, he has done better than Calisto and Bryan Robson who have far more resources. Why shouldnt he get offers? I am sure he was paid a pittance to coach the Azkals so dont sound so bloody surprised if he does decide to stick around. Theres more things more important than money. I think your just sour graping. By any chance, did your national team make it past the semi finals?

  6. maybe he was paid a pittance to coach, and he is force to accept it than nothing at all... the players "did it" and not him... maybe he decides to stick around because we have an UNBELIEVABLE TEAM which he can use to take credit for and put in his sports resume as his achievement. WOW...What was his achievement before the AZKALS...I think this was the Biggest Break for him. Talk to the AZKALS Pare...

  7. God keeps you azkals!