Male: Coach Thomas Dooley believes the Philippines have a bright future despite Friday's heartbreaking AFC Challenge Cup final defeat by Palestine.
The Philippines, who finished third at the previous edition in 2012, had progressed to their first AFC Challenge Cup final with an unbeaten record only to 1-0 to Palestine at the National Stadium.
But despite the Philippines seeing their hopes of a first-ever appearance at the AFC Asian Cup dashed following the defeat, Dooley is confident of continued progress from the two-time AFF Championship semi-finalists.
"My task was to win the Challenge Cup and I didn't," said Dooley, who was appointed in February.
"But on the other hand, I was trying to build something with the team and I think we did a pretty good job through to the final, so I think this team has a bright future. If we continue to work hard and find more young players, I think we will have a great future."
Third-choice goalkeeper Patrick Deyto was the only player not used by Dooley in the five games, with teenagers Kenshiro Daniels, Amani Aguinaldo and Daisuke Sato as well as 20-year-old OJ Porteria all gaining valuable experience during the tournament.
"The young players are the future, so we have to find players and we have to develop the players," added Dooley.
"Sato is 19 years old, Amani is 19 years old, and OJ and Ken who came in, they have a future in the national team. It doesn't mean we want to kick the old players out, but maybe the pace of the game will be better and it is good to have a young average age, especially with young players who can develop."
Palestine striker Ashraf Al Fawaghra scored the only goal of the final with a free-kick a minute before the hour mark, with the Philippines unable to find a response after 2012 AFC Challenge Cup top scorer Phil Younghusband missed their best chance four minutes before half-time.
"It was a tough game. The boys played hard and played good and I am proud of everyone who was in the team who played at this tournament," said Dooley.
"We had a good tournament; we just didn't get the final result we were looking for.
"Palestine have a great team and nobody scored against them. We tried to, and we were close a couple of times, but it didn't work out.
"But overall, I am happy with the way they team played at this tournament."
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