Dooley returns as Azkals’ head coach

By: Glendale G. Rosal - CDN Digital Correspondent | May 25,2022 - 03:40 PM
Thomas Dooley. | Photo from PFF Website

Thomas Dooley. | Photo from PFF Website

CEBU CITY, Philippines — American football coach Thomas Dooley returns as the Philippine Azkals’ head coach a few days after Scott Cooper relinquished his head coaching post with the national team.

The 61-year-old Dooley has been widely known in the Philippine football scene for coaching the Azkals from 2014 to 2018 and bringing the Azkals to numerous international stints including the AFF Championships, the World Cup Qualifiers, and the AFC Challenge Cup.

During his tenure, Dooley also steered the Azkals to a historic stint in the Asian Cup qualification.

No less than the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) made the official announcement about Dooley’s appointment as the returning Azkals’ head coach.

The Azkals’ most recent campaign was in Singapore during the 2022 FAS Tri-Nations Series where they finished with a 0-2 (win-loss) record against Malaysia and host Singapore.

After that, numerous team veterans took part in the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) including Stephan Schrock. However, they failed to bring any medals from the biennial meet.

This time, Dooley will spearhead the Azkals for a much tougher campaign, the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers from June 8 to 14 in Mongolia.

“I’m honored to take responsibility to bring the team back where they belong,” said Dooley.

“Thank you to PFF for the trust you have in me.”

According to PFF chief Mariano Araneta Jr., they at PFF trust that Dooley can take the Azkals to another level in his second stint as head coach.

“We would like to welcome Coach Thomas Dooley back with the Men’s National Team,” said PFF president Mariano Araneta, Jr.

“We trust that he can take the team to greater heights in his second stint as head coach. We wish him and the team well as they prepare for the AFC Asian Cup 2023 qualifiers next month.”

Last Sunday, Cooper stepped down as the Azkals’ head coach. The British coached the national team from 2018 to 2022. He was initially appointed by the PFF as the senior team adviser for the Azkals and oversaw the team’s training camp for the 2018 AFF Championships and the 2019 Asian Cup.

Aside from the head coaching job, Cooper also managed the Azkals in the 2019 Asian Cup which saw the team earning its highest FIFA World Cup point total. In addition, Cooper also coached the Azkals Developmental Team.

On the other hand, the Azkals will start their training camp for the Asian Cup qualifiers in Manila before they fly to Mongolia in June.

The Azkals are grouped with Mongolia, Yemen, and Palestine.   /rcg

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TAGS: AFC Challenge Cup, AFF Championships, Cebu‬, Cebu Daily News, Dooley, Football news, head coach, PFF, Philippine Azkals, Philippine Football Federation, the World Cup Qualifiers, thomas dooley

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