Azkals new coach Thomas Dooley (R) with German consultant Thomas Roy (L) observed the UFL games held at the Emperador Stadium on Tuesday. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – New Philippine national team head coach Thomas Dooley has one hard-and-fast rule when it comes to football: a player cannot be selfish and put himself above the team.
Dooley, who was formally introduced as the new Azkals head coach last week, told Dyan Castillejo of ABS-CBN News that a player who wants to wear the colors of the national team should realize that this is his one non-negotiable rule.
“If somebody is selfish and just want to put himself in front of anybody, then that somebody should play tennis because that’s one on one,” Dooley said.
“The individual skill that everybody has, he has to bring that to the team, and not for himself. If somebody wants to play for themselves, he should play tennis. But this is a soccer, this is a team sport,” he added.
Dooley said he also plans to be completely honest with his players and inform them when they are letting the team down.
“If somebody is selfish and doesn’t bring it with the team, I will let him know,” he said. “And either he changes, or maybe, he doesn’t have a chance to play.”
“Those are things that I really don’t want to negotiate, because it is very, very important for us to be successful,” he added.
Dooley is a former United States national team player who played in the 1994 and 1998 World Cups. He was capped 81 times by the U.S., scoring seven international goals.
His first official game with the Azkals is on March 1 against Malaysia.