Swiss coach back with Azkals
MANAMA, Bahrain – The Philippine Azkals’ brain trust got an upgrade anew with the rehiring of Swiss goalkeeping coach Pascal Zuberbuhler for the World Cup Qualifying campaign.
The acquisition of Zuberbuhler gives the Azkals another former World Cup campaigner on the coaching staff as the 44-year-old mentor has played in the sport’s biggest stage, just like head coach Thomas Dooley.
“He is someone who’s played at a high level who knows how important is discipline, how important is preparation to the match and the whole environment about being a professional player,” said Dooley of the key addition to his staff.
Zuberbuhler played for Switzerland in the 2006 World Cup, helping his country reach the quarterfinals. A FIFA goalkeeping course instructor, Zuberbuhler also serves as technical director of Geneva-based club Servette FC, the club that employs
Azkals keeper Roland Muller.
It will be the second stint for Zuberbuhler as he was also part of ex-coach Michael Weiss’ staff in the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup.
“It’s great to have two experienced coaches in coach Thomas and coach Zubi,” said Azkals manager Dan Palami. “The combined experience that they have will be a big help to the team as we try to reach our goals this year.”
Neil Etheridge who was teammates with Zuberbuhler at Fulham said the Swiss goalkeeping coach’s presence goes beyond helping them honing their skills while manning the posts.
“He’s very technical,” said Etheridge, who has been ruled out of the clash against Bahrain on Monday after sustaining a cut on his head due to a freak accident.
“He is not just good for the goalkeepers but for the outfield players because he brings a great atmosphere. You look at the experience that we have right now with coach Dooley and coach Zubi, not everyone (in Asia ) has that.”