New Azkals coach Dooley a proven winner | Inquirer Sports
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New Azkals coach Dooley a proven winner

By: - Reporter / @cedelfptINQ
/ 01:22 AM February 09, 2014

MANILA, Philippines — Newly installed national team coach Thomas Dooley had a checkered career few players could rival in the United States.

A topnotch defender, who played in two World Cup tournaments, including on home soil in 1994, Dooley had 81 caps for his country and was a US Soccer Hall of Fame inductee.

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Still, the German-American felt he had plenty more to accomplish after his playing career, the reason why he established his own soccer academy in California.

By taking the reins with the Azkals, however, Dooley can cross another line off his bucket list.

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“The thing with coaching is that you really need an opportunity,” said Dooley whose lone coaching experience with a club came when he handled Saarbrucken in the German second division in 2002.

The facilities in the Philippines is a far cry from the manicured pitches that Dooley is so used to in his home base in California.

But for someone who simply wanted a chance to prove his worth, it’s the least of his worries.

“I am happy I’m getting my chance here,” said Dooley who learned about the Azkals through a Filipino player in his academy in June last year.

Azkals manager Dan Palami was impressed with Dooley when he interviewed him for the job at a hotel in Los Angeles.

His lack of coaching experience, particularly in Asia, notwithstanding, Dooley is confident he can learn quickly on the job and that his experience as a player will come in handy.

While his immediate goal is to win the Challenge Cup in May, Dooley’s long term plan is to eventually have more homegrown players in the national side.

Coaching and playing may be two different tasks, but one thing’s for sure, the Azkals have selected a proven winner to lead them to their next mission.

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TAGS: Azkals, Dan Palami, Football, Soccer, Thomas Dooley
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