Azkals set to name new coach as Cooper steps down

Published May 23, 2022, 4:10 PM

by Jonas Terrado

The Philippine Azkals will have a new man in charge ahead of next month’s AFC Asian Cup Third Round Qualifiers after Scott Cooper stepped down as coach.

Scott Cooper

His departure was confirmed Sunday, May 22 by the Philippine Football Federation, adding that a new coach is set to be named “in the coming days.”

Cooper has been with the team since 2018, holding other capacities as team adviser and technical director on an interim basis.

He also guided the Azkals during their maiden Asian Cup back in 2019 and was also in charge of the squad that competed in the second round of the World Cup/Asian Cup Qualifiers in June 2020 amid the pandemic.

“We thank coach Scott for sharing his knowledge, time, effort and making great sacrifices to our men’s national team program,” team manager Dan Palami said in a statement.

“We had our share of challenges handling the team and competing during the Covid-19 pandemic. During his time in charge, we were able to secure commitment from players who we believe can help us in achieving our goals.

“We wish coach Scott all the best in his future endeavors,” added Palami.

The Azkals are set to return to action on June 8 when they head to Mongolia for the final round of the continental qualifiers.

Drawn in Group B with host Mongolia, Palestine and Yemen, the Philippines aims to top the group or emerge as one of the five best second placers to qualify for the Asian Cup.

Qatar will now host the Asian Cup slated June 2023 after China withdrew due to the pandemic.