Local top tier club Loyola Meralco Sparks FC has announced the departure of head coach Simon McMenemy after two years of serving as the club’s head mentor.
In a statement posted at the club’s official website on Saturday, the Sparks revealed that the Scottish football manager “will be moving on to a new chapter in his coaching career.”
The 39-year-old mentor first took on the helm of Meralco in 2014 following the departure of Vince Santos at the end of the United Football League 2013-2014 season.
McMenemy steered the Sparks to a successful conquest in the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) Smart Club Championship just six months after his arrival.
The veteran mentor led the men in orange to their first-ever national title against the tough Ceres La Salle FC in the 2014 final of the annual tournament.
According to Mcmenemy, leaving an organization that he has been with for the past two years will be one of the hardest decisions in his career.
“When you have such a close unit like this team [and] its such a close group of players, it’s hard. It’s really hard to wake up tomorrow and think that I’m not doing this again,” he said.
He added that their unit has really bonded in their campaigns in the past seasons and claimed that his stint with the club is something that he will not easily forget.
McMenemy is best known in the Philippines as the architect of the 2010 miracle in Hanoi after helping the Azkals to the reach the semifinals of the Suzuki Cup for the very first time.
However, he moved on to coach other clubs before jumping back to the country for the Sparks and paving the way for the club’s participation in promoting the sport especially in the provinces.
“I think football is very much still in its early stages here. It needs a combined effort to take it to the next level,” McMenemy said on the current state football in the country.
He explained that despite the small market that football currently has in the Philippines, there are ways that can be done in order to promote and develop the sport.
“You can’t just rely on players. You can’t just rely on sponsors. We can’t just rely on the PFF. We can’t just rely on the UFL. Everybody involved in football, watching football at home or able to get into stadiums, everybody should be playing a part,” he said.
Mcmenemy claimed that helping develop football in the provinces can be a good boost to its local presence and reiterated the importance of everyone’s involvement in each game of their favorite club.
“Football is being brewed by going to Tawi-Tawi and Zamboanga. Such trips could do so much good. I think it’s something that everyone should get involved in and everyone who wants football to be in a better place has a responsibility to help us,” he concluded.