Palami on Dooley’s status with Azkals: ‘A lot of reasons for him to be extended’
Thomas Dooley’s status as coach for the Philippine Azkals is still up in the air.
Team manager Dan Palami remained non-committal with the German-American mentor’s status, sharing that the management and the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) are still in the process of evaluating the possible extension of Dooley after his four-year tenure.
“The PFF and I have met yesterday and of course, we’re in the process of evaluating the extension or non-extension of coach Thomas’ contract,” he bared on Tuesday during the weekly PSA Forum at Tapa King in Cubao.
— Randolph B. Leongson (@RLeongsonINQ) April 3, 2018
Under Dooley’s guidance, the Azkals reached the 2019 AFC Asian Cup for the first time after topping Group F of the qualifying round courtesy of a 2-1 victory against Tajikistan last Tuesday.
“There’s a lot of reasons for him to be extended,” admitted Palami. “We’ve had our best performance under his tenure. For me, looking at the record that he has, I think he has done good things for us.”
However, his term was marred by a number of conflicts, none bigger than his on-and-off relationship with midfielder Stephan Schrock. The Ceres-Negros skipper has been with the national team since 2011, but was left out of the squad for the 2019 Asian Cup qualifiers last September for their match against Yemen and has not been called up since.
Palami said that inputs from the players will also be accounted for the decision, especially with the Philippine squad going up against the best teams in Asia in the continental showpiece in United Arab Emirates next year.
“We’ll be talking to the players as well as how the players will respond to him, whether at the level of the Asian Cup, the players will still respond to him so that we can be successful. So we’re still in an evaluation process,” he said.
Palami, though, assured that the Azkals management will come up with a decision next month as they shore up their preparations for the Asian Cup, as well as the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup in November.
“We have to make a decision quick to schedule the friendlies. Give it a month or so. We have enough time to go about it,” he said.
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