08 June 2013

Time to integrate more locals into Azkals set-up, says former PH coach Cutillas

By Karlo Sacamos

FORMER national football coach Juan Cutillas believes it's high time for some "policy changes" in the national team set-up, calling for more homegrown players in the Azkals roster and the setting up of a youth academy to sustain the tremendous gains of the sport in the country.
“The impact of the Azkals has been something really unbelievable,” the 73-year-old Spanish mentor said on Thursday after the Fiba-Asia Championship draw where he was recognized along with the other members of the championship-winning Philippine team in 1973.
Cutillas, the trainer of that all-Filipino 1973 national team, said the Azkals’ achievements were reminiscent of the time when he first came to the country in the early seventies.
Cutillas claimed that from 1971 to 72, they put up a 'Manila selection,' composed of a mix of foreign and Filipino booters which beat the likes of South Korea, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, and Singapore.
“We have all the records. But what happened at that time, there was no (Azkals manager Dan) Palami," he said, referring to the Azkals' manager and top financial backer. "Now the Philippines is very lucky to have him.”  
Cutillas, who last coached the national football team in 2009, lauded Palami’s efforts, but believes the Azkals have too many abroad-based Filipinos in the squad that takes the playing time away from homegrown booters.
“Our local players must be very upset that they are not given the opportunity to play. I know they are discouraged,” said the outspoken mentor, who handled current national team mainstays Chieffy Caligdong, the Younghusband brothers, Neil Etheridge, and Chris Greatwich during his time.
Cutillas said from the Filipino-foreign players in the Azkals pool, only “five or six are outstanding” and should be kept.
“The others are pretty average players, although they are better than (local players) because they have better competition, so I think we should already start changing policies and start giving more chance to our players.”
Cutillas cited the recent friendly against Hong Kong, which he said could’ve been the perfect chance to let the locals play.
“You don’t need these players from Europe (to play in the Hong Kong friendly). It was the opportunity to give chance to other players. Even in the Southeast Asian Games, they are looking for Fil-foreigners everywhere when there’s the opportunity to give chance to others.”
“It’s not so important that the Azkals keep on winning all the time. They are established in Southeast Asia already,” he continued. “Teams like Thailand and Singapore, they’re not crazy to organize games all the time. They participate in the important competitions. This is what the Azkals should do.”
Cutillas said instead of spending millions of pesos to “mobilize players coming from Europe," the Azkals' financial resources could be used for a youth academy where youngsters with potential can stay and train together with free accommodation, food, and studies.
The academy, which Cutillas has long envisioned, should identify the best young players in the country and let them travel only once a year to play in competition.
“That is money well invested because you train the best players in the country, and slowly but surely, they will become really good, like what Australia has done,” Cutillas said.
Cutillas, which is still affiliated with the PFF as member of its technical committee, also suggested putting up a “Team B” for the Azkals.
“Put up another national team, mostly Filipino players, give them the opportunity to participate in small tournaments then you develop them,” he said.
Cutillas said there are tons of deserving local-based players from the UAAP as well as the football hotbeds of Bacolod and Iloilo.
“I’m not that familiar with the players anymore, but there are Filipino players who can play, given the chance.” 


  1. I agree with Mr. Cutillas that we should put a team B in all categories of national team as there are many skillfull players now in our country and its also what the other nations are doing right now. The PFF should assigned team managers for each teams so he can't carry all the financial burden(bigyan ng manager ang team B at team A).

    1. Budget pa rin problema dito pre. It's not like there are financial backers lining up. Yung youth teams nga natin di makapagtraining ng maayos kase kapos. Tapos pag may home game ang Azkals eh reklamo agad mga tao sa ticket prices. Magandang idea sana kung may malaking budget lang PFF.

    2. We'll just find super rich Team Managers who loves football. Any takers???

    3. they should give it to the managers of ceres!

    4. That's another problem with Philippine football when it comes to national teams. Having a team manager means that they have to have deep pockets and it's retarded to say the least. It further proves the PFF doesn't have shit when it comes to finances and they have outsource management to random rich people!

  2. For once i actually agree with Cutillas. He has some very good valid points, but the azkals management only thinks about the rankings, thats why they keep on getting the guys from Europe.

    1. The real problem is PALAMI the fatass!!

    2. I know. But he has the money, and thats why he calls the shots. PFF lets him do whatever he wants to because they are afraid that they would have to spend their own money on the national teams, and thats something they cant afford. All they have to do is sit back and relax.

    3. Very good comments above.
      At least there are fans who knows fatlami is destroying football in the country.
      Fatlami must go for real development to take place.

  3. Don't you know Palami is aiming for presidency position in the next PFF election? Take a look at this: U23 Head Coach- Brian Reid (Global FC), U15 represents GlobalFC in FAM -FRENZ ASEAN Championship presently, U13 had a manager connected to who else ... He's working his way into PFF dynasty in the future.

  4. So Cutillas thinks worse than average players should be representing the Philippines. That is a path guaranteed to lead to failure. It is correct that the Azkals seem to be playing a lot of games. I agree that the Azkals funding should be cut back. However extra funds should be going to women's footbal instead of a second MNT. Like Canada USA and Thailand the PFF should be emphasizing the WNT.

  5. Cutilas said just 5-6 oversea players are outstanding....i count Cagara, Lucena, Schrock, Etheridge, Patino and Mulders...so this are the six....all the others are playing in the Philippines already except Angel (can be counted maybe the 7th)......so all the other players must compete with each other in the league....of course there are players who should become a chance again like Hartman as he does a nice job in his club....and of course there are some players who could be left out of the NT. When the local players are disencourged then they should train and work harder first to overcome the "average" players and should not lament always (like in the last training camps).
    I agree that they must finally move their asses to develope the youth programs before it's too late (the PFF already slept too long)....and i also agree that you should give more players playing time who usually sit on the bench when we are in full gear....
    I don't see a point to have a 2nd kind of B Azkals team....the money would be better invested for the Malditas as with proper funds and being longer together they can move something.....they have rather a chance to make it to the AFC cup or WC than the Azkals (who will - not to be too pessimistic- never make it due to the strong other countries in Asia).

    1. You can add Muller as the 8th and then because there is an obvious lack of decent CB's, you can add Gier and Juani as the 9th & 10th outstanding players. Those are also just the ones based abroad. There's another handful that are playing domestically! Cutillas is talking crap!

    2. Cutillas has some valid points. Where is the point of bringing in the big guns against minor teams like Guam etc. I dont see the point. All other nations would use their 2nd stringers and new prospects. But never azkals.

      As for the outstanding players. Some have been very good. Id personally ditch Mulders from that list and instead have Ray Jonsson on that list. I dont find Mulders that good, and ive been expecting more from him.

    3. The last time we played Guam, it was an entirely local based squad. So I don't know what you're on.

      As for Mulders, name me a more technical local homegrown player who is more "outstanding" and plays in the same position as Mulders? At this point in time, you can't because there is none! Granted, he could/should do a little better than what he shows but that's mainly down to him not playing competitive games for his club. Still, he's one of our best technical players and it'd dumb to leave him out of the squad.