06 June 2018

Philippine Azkals consider coaching change

By Peter Atencio

Coach Thomas Dooley is fighting to keep his spot with the Philippine Azkals national men’s team.
Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta said they also have a British coach who has handled a team in Thailand in their radar.
“The challenge is how to prepare the national team. So, we are interviewing coaches,” said Araneta.
The Azkals are currently set to begin preparations for the 2018 ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup and Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup UAE 2019 once they name their choice of coach this month.
And it’s either Dooley will be able to keep his job, or they will fire him in favor of a new one.
The decision to evaluate Dooley came after he steered the Azkals to a historic Asian Cup berth a few months ago.
Dooley‘s contract ended on March 31, and team officials led by Dan Palami will name a coach by June 14.
Araneta said the Azkals are first scheduled for friendlies with clubs in Bahrain and a tuneup with Bahrain national team this September.
They are getting ready for big challenges when the Azkals make their Asian Cup debut against Korea Republic on January 7, 2019 at the Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai .
Then, they face China on Jan. 11 at the Mohammad Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
The last match of the group stage will be against Kyrgyz Republic on Jan. 16 January at the Rashid Stadium in Dubai.
They secured qualification to the final round last March 27.
The Azkals got it with their 2-1 win over Tajikistan at the Rizal Memorial Stadium to win Group F with 12 points.
 “We dreamt that one day we will have a team in the AFC Asian Cup, and now it has become a reality, said Araneta.

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