• Dooley to remain with PH Azkals



    The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) has extended the contract of Philippine National Football Team head coach Thomas Dooley for two years.

    “I always said that I wanted to stay so that’s why it was easy to come together and talk,” Dooley said during an interview.

    Dooley, however, added that the contract is yet to be finalized between the two parties.

    The 54-year-old American football legend, who became the Azkals’ coach in 2014, steered the squad to a number of achievements.

    Dooley led the Azkals to an impressive third-place finish in Group H of the recently concluded second round of the joint World Cup and Asian Cup qualifiers.

    The Philippines had an impressive start in the tournament posting back-to-back wins against Bahrain and Syria.

    The Philippines capped off their three wins, one draw and four losses performance in the tournament with a 3-2 win against the higher-ranked North Koreans in a home game last month.

    The success resulted in the team securing a berth in the next round of games for the qualifiers of the continental football championship for national teams.

    With the success of the team in the continental stage, the Azkals in April, rose 19 spots to their highest ever rank of 116 in the world.

    Dooley said that they need to win all of their next games as part of their preparation for the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Championship, “Target is obviously [to win]every single game and hope that the players understand how important those big games are.”

    The former skipper of the US national soccer team also mentioned that the Azkals would have friendly games against Syria, China and Kyrgyzstan during the next international breaks.

    The team’s next big tournament will be in November when the Philippines hosts one of Suzuki Cup’s two clusters in the group stage.

    After three consecutive semifinals finishes in the Suzuki Cup, Dooley said that they want to reach the finals this year.

    “We need to be focused on those games so we can actually reach our goal in the Suzuki Cup, which is at least the finals. Obviously, we want to win the finals.”


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