HE transfer of the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup from March to May has left the Philippine men’s football team management with a huge decision to make regarding the future of coach Michael Weiss.
With the one-year contract extension of the German mentor only good until March, the Azkals’ management has to decide whether to extend him, at least until after the Challenge Cup, or hire a replacement.
Responding to growing speculations that Weiss’ days with the Azkals are numbered, national team manager Dan Palami made no effort to deny the possibility of change.
They Said It!
“He may or may not be retained." - Azkals team manager Dan Palami on German coach Michael Weiss
“He may or may not be retained,” Palami said in a phone conversation late Tuesday.
Cebufootball.blogspot.com reported earlier in the day about management’s intention to “look deeper into the composition of the team. And that includes all the players and the coaching staff.”
Asked to expound, Palami underscored the stakes in the prestigious tournament, which awards a lone ticket to the Asian Cup in 2015.
“It’s going to be a pretty tough competition, therefore it’s important to really reconsider who will represent the country best,” said the 43-year-old businessman who is credited behind the Azkals' rise to prominence.
“With the Challenge Cup moved to May, it gives us a window to evaluate the players and coaching staff,” Palami said, while stressing management and Philippine Football Federation are always evaluating the team.
Palami said a decision on the coaching position would have to be made soon so it won’t affect the Azkals’ preparations.
Regarding players, Palami said a prospect who has a chance for a call-up is Martin Steuble, a 25-year-old Filipino-Swiss midfielder, who, according to the team manager, is in the process of obtaining his Philippine passport.
“He will be an asset to the team,” Palami said of Steuble, whom Swiss goalkeeping coach Pascal Zuberbuhler recommended.