Dooley expects a busy year

Philippines coach Thomas Dooley says he expects 2015 to be a busy year for his side.

The Azkals boss was speaking after news broke that he was given a two year contract extension by the Philippine Football Federation.

Dooley said: "We talked about short-term plans of finding players who are from the same environment like China, and those who are in competing teams in Japan. And then, there's the long-term plan of developing local players.

"The whole year will be very exciting and very important for us because of the World Cup qualification (tournament)."

The Azkals will compete for a spot in the 2018 World Cup, playing against four other nations in a round-robin tournament. If they manage first or second place in their group they will progress to the third round where they will face higher seeded countries in a bid to qualify.

He added: "We'll have eight games and we have to finish first or second in our group to continue (to the next round of the qualifiers) and that's the key for us this year.

"We hope fans will go to see the games live. It (crowd support) is very important in football. You could see the difference when we played in Thailand (Suzuki Cup semis). In two days, they actually sold out 60,000 tickets and that made it very, very difficult for us to play there. When we had our semi-final at home and we played in front of 7,000, there's no pressure for them."

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