Azkals hire former England manager Eriksson
Boosting its braintrust in anticipation for two important tournaments in the coming months, the Philippines has hired Swedish coach Sven Goran Eriksson, who managed European powerhouse England in the 2006 World Cup.
Azkals manager Dan Palami told the Inquirer that Eriksson, 70, has agreed to terms for an initial six-month engagement with room for an extension, which means the veteran coach will be handling the Azkals in the AFF Suzuki Cup in November and the AFC Asian Cup in January.
Irish coach Scott Cooper, who handled the team in the last two matches, will remain with the Azkals, joining forces with Eriksson, whom he worked with during their time at Leicester City from 2010 to 2011.
Eriksson, whose vast coaching resume also includes stints in Italy, Portugal, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and most recently, China, is the most high-profile hiring yet for the Azkals.
“We will pull out all the stops just to achieve our goals,” said Palami.
The Azkals boss said Eriksson’s hiring shows how serious the Azkals are in making history in the next two tournaments.
“We’re very excited to have Sven on board,” he said.
“With his reputation, experience and knowledge, there’s no question he can help the team reach the next level. There were a lot of countries and clubs interested in Sven’s services but we were able to sell him the idea of leaving a legacy here in the Philippines.”
The Swedish coach has already met the team during the recent camp in Doha, Qatar.
Palami said he sees no problem with Eriksson and Cooper working together.
“This is going to be a great learning experience as he handles the team,” said Palami.