18 January 2014

Multititled Serbian may soon handle Azkals


MANILA, Philippines – A multititled Serbian football mentor is among the candidates for the Philippine Azkals’ head coaching job.
Radojko “Raddy” Avramovic, who steered Singapore to three Southeast Asian football titles in nine years in charge, has expressed interest to take the helm for the Azkals.
Reliable sources said the 64-year-old Serbian, who also coached Kuwait from 2002 to 2003, has been in touch with Philippine Football Federation officials regarding the job following the sacking of German coach Michael Weiss last week.
The PFF ended the three-year tenure of Weiss with only four months to go before the AFC Challenge Cup, which stakes a spot in the Asian Cup in Australia next year.
Azkals manager Dan Palami last week said six international coaches are being considered for the job although it was not immediately known whether Avramovic is part of the list.
Palami remained tightlipped on the names of the coaches as he awaits confirmation for interviews with them within the next two weeks.
“They have experience and most of them have played at a high level,” said Palami who has bankrolled the national side since 2010.
Known for his tactical acumen and a stickler for discipline, Avramovic has been on a coaching sabbatical since stepping down as Singapore coach, following the Lions’ 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup triumph over Thailand.
The Lions eliminated the Azkals in the semifinals of the same tournament.
Having coached Singapore from 2004 to 2012, Avramovic is familiar with the Asian football setting, one of the qualifications set by Palami.
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Football Association has apologized for the incidents that marred the Philippines’ 1-0 win over Hong Kong in a friendly at Mongkok Stadium last June.
The apology for the local fans’ unruly behavior against Filipino supporters and players was coursed through the Department of Foreign Affairs, according to Palami.
Filipino supporters mostly women and children said HK supporters threw debris and hurled racists comments at them during the match.
“We just hope it doesn’t happen again because football is supposed to foster friendship,” Palami said.

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