MANILA, Philippines (AP) —German-American coach Thomas Dooley will return to the Philippine Azkals for a second stint.
Dooley, who previously managed the Azkals from 2014 to 2018, including a breakthrough qualifying trip to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, is back in charge as the Azkals look to return to the Continental meet next year.
The Filipino booters are scheduled to compete in the third round of the AC qualifications in Mongolia from June 8–14, having to win Group B or place among the top five group runners-up to proceed to the tournament proper. Aside from Mongolia, the Azkals face Palestine and Yemen in this round.
“I’m honored to coach our beloved team again and take responsibility to bring them back where they belong,” Dooley said yesterday upon his appointment.
“We will take the success back to where we left off four years ago…It will be difficult but we will make it. We will fight, we will play football again and we will win again.”
Dooley believes the men’s team may learn from the Filipinas, who “raised the bar high” with their historic qualifying to the FIFA Women’s World Cup and bronze medal in the most recent Southeast Asian Games.
“What a year 2022 (that) started with our women national team Filipinas qualifying for the first time for the World Cup and getting bronze in the SEA Games…Now let’s work hard to complete and top the 2022 success with the Azkals,” he said.