In a press conference held at the Solaire Resort & Casino in Paranaque City last June 14, 2018, long-time Azkals team manager Dan Palami presented former England captain Terry Butcher to the media alongside his new staff.
Butcher, who is currently in Russia as a pundit for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, shared his excitement about the project via a video call.
“I like projects. I like challenges and I see this as a big challenge.
“There’s still a lot of work ahead of us. It’s exciting work. I think with the current group of players the Philippines has at its disposal, I think there are gonna be exciting times ahead,” commented Thomas Dooley’s successor.
Former Azkals midfielder and now Kaya Football Club coach Chris Greatwich is the assistant coach while Steve Marcells is the goalkeeping coach. Another appointee was Scott Cooper as Senior Football Adviser. Palami explained that Cooper is expected to guide Butcher in terms of the Asian football picture.
“We wanted to have somebody to give advice to (Butcher) the necessary information needed that will allow him to make that learning curve shorter. We have somebody who is very familiar with Asia and ASEAN setting,” said Palami.
“He will be a good adviser to somebody like (Butcher).”
Cooper, who had an illustrious run as a coach in Thailand, also spoke of his enthusiasm for his new role.
“I was intrigued by the role.
“I felt that it was something different and a new challenge for me. I’m looking at the quality of the players and the potential because you’re always looking for the right place and the right time and I think that’s what Philippine is about,” he expressed.
Butcher and his staff have a lot on their plate for the next few months. The September and October international windows will be used for friendlies while the Azkals go to war in the 2018 Suzuki Cup on November. Come January, the team heads to the United Arab Emirates for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
When everything is said and done, it’s all about the results on the pitch.
“Obviously we want to win games but we want to win games with a little bit of style, a little bit of finesse, a bit of skill and we want to see the players with a smile on their face enjoying their jobs,” Butcher beamed.