06 December 2011

Weiss will continue calling shots for Azkals


GERMAN coach Michael Weiss will continue to handle the Philippine Azkals until at least the AFC Challenge Cup next year, according to national football team manager Dan Palami.

"It would be impractical to change coaches now with the Challenge Cup just three months away," Palami said in yesterday’s PSA forum at the Shakey’s UN Ave.

"There are many variable factors in forming a national team and a coach is one of them," added Palami, pointing out the achievements of the Filipino booters since Weiss, 45, took over at the start of the year.

"Under Weiss, we were able to reach the AFC Challenge Cup for the first time, reach the second round of the World Cup qualifiers and even placed second in the Taiwan Long Teng Cup, where we lost all our matches last year," he said.

He said there were things Weiss had no control, "like players coming in a few days or even a day before a major match so there is the lack of cohesion and chemistry, which is why I am leaving shortly for Europe to talk with the clubs of our players based over there."

These players are Fil-Germans Stefan Schrock, Roland Mueller, Manny Ott, Fil-Danish Jerry Lucena and Dennis Cagara, Fil-Dutch Paul Mulders and regular goalkeeper, Fil-Brit Neil Etheridge, who have all commitments with their respective clubs.

Palami is hoping all seven players would be available for the AFC Challenge Cup starting in Katmandhu, Nepal on March 9 next year and the training camp preceding it.

He said that while they were bracketed in the tougher Group B with past Challenge Cup champions Tajikistan (2006), India (2008) and North Korea (2010), the schedule they were given would enable the European-based players to see action in all three matches.

"We play on March 9, 11 and 13, so they will only miss one game with their respective clubs," Palami said. "This is why I believe we can assemble a very strong team for the Challenge Cup notwithstanding our tough opponents."

To address the issues of teamwork and chemistry, Palami said, the nationals will have a three-week training camp somewhere in the Middle East from Feb. 8-18 before flying to Nepal five days before the tournament to adjust to the possible sub-zero Nepalese weather.

The Azkals will kick off their build-up for the Nepal tournament with a friendly match on Jan. 7 against a Spanish Third Division club and wind up their training with another match on Feb. 29, a date marked as an international friendly date under the FIFA calendar, possibly against Vietnam, New Zealand or Malaysia.

"Once we’ve addressed issues like teamwork, cohesion and conditioning effectively, only then can we consider other factors in forming a good team like coaching," Palami said.

The Azkals are also seeing action in the Suzuki Cup Asean Football Championship in December, having gained an automatic slot due to their semis finish this year.

"Despite some setbacks, it’s been a very successful and active year for Philippine football," said Palami.

"We hope to continue this momentum for us to see the true potential of Philippine football," Palami in the public service program presented by Smart, Pagcor, Outlast Battery and Shakey’s.



  1. Good stuff. Fair deal on coach Weiss -- he MUST remain azkals coach as pointed out and as practical reasons prevail. The sr azkal team is his. Let that be his turf, simple. Him doing multiple stuff is not a good idea. But a lot of good point raised by mr P in this article. More laterzzzz

  2. I agree. Weiss is not an idiot like other nonsense would claim. But he has limits like everyone do. Things don't always work out right away like how we imagine it but, given time, adjustments are made and things settle and then work out just fine. Like what the staff always say that this is a long-term project. Let's give it time to properly develop.

  3. For the Spanish opponent, how about Carli's club? Though we know his quality I'd love to see how his team is. This is a terrific idea. Hope to see a mini version of the tiki/taka. Weiss might learn something... naaahhh.

    I do agree, its too late to boot Weiss at this stage.

    Error in the Article: We did not lose ALL games in the Long Teng Cup.