by Jonas Terrado
The Philippine Azkals formally named former England captain Terry Butcher as their new coach to mark the start of the national team’s preparation for their historic appearance in the 2019 Asian Cup.
Butcher, who replaced long-time mentor Thomas Dooley, was not around when he was introduced during a press conference at the Solaire Resort & Casino in Paranaque City but expressed excitement in handling the role of steer the Azkals into new heights.
The 59-year-old Butcher is known for his three World Cup appearances for England, and was the captain of the 1990 team that made it to the semifinals.
He played club football for Ipswich Town and Rangers before coaching multiple clubs upon his retirement.
Azkals team manager Dan Palami also announced the hiring of Irish-born Scott Cooper as an advisor to Butcher. Cooper, 47, has managed multiple clubs around the globe, including stints with Thailand’s Buriram United in 2013.
Butcher faces the daunting task of making the Azkals competitive in time for the Asian Cup slated January in the United Arab Emirates.
But before that, the Azkals have scheduled training camps in the Middle East and will also attempt to win the Suzuki Cup for the first time later this year.
Butcher’s appointment marks the end of Dooley’s four-year reign as Azkals coach, though Palami said the former United States captain will be given a still-unspecific role.