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32nd SEA Games

Rob Gier to lead Azkals U22 in 32nd SEA Games

One of the greatest defenders to have served the Philippine Azkals is coming back home to take on a new challenge.

The Philippine Football Federation announced Thursday afternoon that it has appointed Rob Gier to take charge of the Philippine Under-22 Men’s National Football Team for the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia this May.

“I feel extremely proud and honoured to be given the opportunity to represent the country again,” said the 42-year-old former defender who represented the Philippines 66 times in his playing days.

“We are delighted that former Men’s National Team player Rob Gier has accepted the role to be the head coach of the Philippine Under-22 National Team for the upcoming SEA Games,” said PFF President Mariano V Araneta.

“Having a former national player in Gier to lead our team is a much needed boost as we seek to qualify for the knockout stage of the SEA Games for the first time since 1991.”

“We welcome back Rob Gier to the national team setup, this time as a coach who will lead our Men’s U22 side in the SEA Games,” added General Secretary Atty. Ed Gastanes. “We look forward to what he can impart to the players as the Under-22 team prepares for the SEA Games.”

Gier made his international debut with the Azkals back in 2009. He reached the semifinals of the AFF Suzuki Cup in 2010, 2012 and 2014. He was also a silver medalist in the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup.

In terms of his coaching career, he took over the University of Oxford’s women’s football team from 2016 to 2018. In 2017, he got his UEFA A License while he is also a pro diploma candidate.

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He worked as a development coach with Reading F.C. Women and he was promoted as the club’s academy manager in 2018.

“Being involved in a coaching capacity for the National Team has been an ambition of mine ever since I retired from playing,” added Gier.

“So to be given the responsibility of overseeing the SEA Games campaign is something that I am really looking forward to. It’s good to be back. Let’s get started!”

While it is too early to name a final pool, most of Gier’s players will probably come from the Azkals Development Team.

When the Philippines competed in the 31st SEA Games, the country finished in 4th place in Group A with only three points behind one win and three losses. As a member of the Miracle of Hanoi squad, the former Azkals captain would look to greatly improve on that past showing.

Written By

Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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