Palami mulls over ‘another role’ in PH football after Azkals’ historic win
Philippine Azkals team manager Dan Palami couldn’t be any happier for the team after its 2-1 victory against Tajikistan on Tuesday to qualify for its first ever 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
But just as the country reached its highest point to date, the amiable executive hinted that he might be looking for another role elsewhere in the Philippine football landscape.
“I think after getting the team to the Asian Cup, I have to look at maybe another role for me in Philippine football,” he bared.
“My children are already telling me that I won’t have any inheritance for them,” he joked. “But it’s been a long journey and it’s a happy culmination for all those heartaches.”
Palami has been the national football team’s chief backer since 2010, when it burst into public consciousness after its historic win over Vietnam in the AFF Suzuki Cup dubbed as the “Miracle of Hanoi.”
From there, he has overseen the squad’s development for the better part of the last decade, from changing coaches to recruiting new faces as they proudly hoisted the Philippine flag in the international stage whenever they took the pitch.
And for the Azkals to finally reach the Asian Cup, the 47-year-old Tacloban native said that all of those hard days and sleepless nights are all worth it.
“Through all those heartaches, those the dark ages where we couldn’t been anything to finally here, I’m just thankful,” he said, recounting the days when Azkals had little to no expectations behind them and just wanted to represent the country at the best they could.
“We were just trying. I think that says it all. We’ve been through a lot, especially for me, we’ve seen players come and go, I’ve seen coaches come and go. We’ve not always been successful, but to make it to the bigger stage, after all those heartaches, it feels great. It’s a feeling that can’t be described,” he said.
— Randolph B. Leongson (@RLeongsonINQ) March 27, 2018ADVERTISEMENT
“Sometimes you look at your bank account, you just think if it’s all worth it. These are the kinds of moments that makes everything worth it.”
With his sacrifice finally paying off, Palami believes the best move for him now is to step away from the seniors’ team and put his focus somewhere else.
“I think after being with this team from 2010 to 2018, to now to the 2019 Asian Cup, I have to evaluate as well my role in Philippine football,” he said, clarifying that he hasn’t put too much thought on his next move just yet.
“Maybe, it will be in the grassroots. I don’t know. I have to think about that.”
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