|New Philippine Azkals head coach Thomas Dooley. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA (UPDATE) -- The Philippine Football Federation formally introduced on Friday the new coach of the men’s national team.
Tasked to get the Azkals in winning form for the Challenge Cup is 2-time World Cup player Thomas Dooley, a German-American who played for the US World Cup team in 1994 and became captain in 1998.
Dooley was also assistant coach of the US American team and was inducted to the USA Football Hall of Fame in 2010.
Prior to moving to the USA, he played in Bundesliga in Germany and also played and coached in the UEFA Cup.
Dooley said he is thrilled to be in the Philippines and is looking foward to meeting with the players and working on their mission to win the Challenge Cup in May.
“I'm very honored, humbled and very excited to take this task. I'm very happy to take this task and it will not be easy because on paper, maybe it looks like for us we're favored to win. But in soccer, you'll never know. You can not underestimate a good team,” said Dooley.
“He wants to win games, he wants to make sure na we play to the best of the players that we have,” said Azkals team manager Dan Palami.
Dooley plans to implement a simple and attractive style of football, perfect the fundamentals of the players, put pressure on the opponent, and more importantly, make everyone in the team know and perform their roles on field.
Dooley will set up training immediately for the Manila-based players and meet the foreign-based Azkals in the friendlies set in Malaysia and Dubai in March to form the best team for the Challenge Cup in Maldives.
After evaluating the players, Dooley will work on more technique, tactics, fitness and team spirit.
With a good plan, belief and hard work, Coach Dooley believes winning the Challenge Cup is attainable.