By Cedelf P. Tupas
MANILA, Philippines– Is Stephan Schrock primed for an Azkals comeback?
The possibility surfaced recently after the Filipino-German midfielder confirmed he has patched things up with Azkals coach Thomas Dooley following their falling out last year in the aftermath of the AFC Challenge Cup finals loss to Palestine.
Schrock has apologized to Dooley for his actions last year when he announced he isn’t playing for the team as long as the German-American mentor is in charge.
“Playing for the Azkals has never left my mind,” Schrock told the Inquirer Monday night. “I love the country and I always want to play for the Philippines, but it will still be the coach’s decision. It’s okay, everybody needs time.”
The falling out stemmed from Dooley’s decision to limit Schrock’s minutes in the crucial stages of the AFC Challenge Cup in Maldives last year where the midfielder was nursing a hamstring injury.
But just like goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, who cleared the air with Dooley last year following his exclusion from the Peace Cup lineup, Schrock also took the initiative to get in touch and make amends.
“I texted coach to let him know I was sorry,” said Schrock, who played 15 games for Greuther Furth in the German second division last season, scoring one goal.
“I’m a player who always wants to win. My intention was right but the manner that I did it was not. He (Dooley) accepted it and that’s it,” added the midfielder who has three international goals for the country.
Azkals manager Dan Palami is upbeat that the development will lead to Schrock’s return to the Philippine side bracing for the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers starting in June.
“Of course, Stephan is still one of our most talented players and we have seen that he can really help the team,” said Palami.
The Philippine Football Federation is finalizing a friendly against Palestine in Bahrain on March 29 to cap the Azkals’ weeklong camp in the Middle East country.
Read more: http://sports.inquirer.net/175499/comeback-on-the-cards-schrock-patches-things-up-with-coach-dooley#ixzz3TzrycdC8