In a sustained show of ambition by the Philippines’ national football team, The Azkals, ahead of their biggest campaigns in their history – The 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup and the 2019 AFC Asian Cup – have confirmed former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson as the new head coach.
The Swede’s appointment brings a vast wealth of experience from a management and coaching standpoint with stints in Italian club football, with the likes of Roma, Lazio, and Fiorentina and national teams, particularly with the England national football team.
JUST IN: @TheAzkalsPH agree to terms with former England manager Sven Goran Eriksson on an initial six-month engagement which means he will be handling team in @affsuzukicup and @afcasiancup. Eriksson (with Azkals manager @dscpalami) will work together with Scott Cooper. pic.twitter.com/KBYNLR16fQ
— Cedelf P. Tupas (@cedelfptINQ) October 27, 2018
His tenure with the Three Lions as their first foreign manager could be considered as the highest point in Eriksson’s career, bringing the star-studded squad to the 2004 Euro and 2006 FIFA World Cup quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, Scott Cooper still remains as part of the Philippines’ coaching staff which means he gets reunited with the gaffer after both formed Leicester’s management staff back in 2010-11.
Actually, it was through Cooper that Eriksson’s name came up as one of the candidates for the head-coaching job, a chance that Palami did not hesitate to take.
“I’ve always been a dreamer, so I said (to myself), ‘Why not go for (him)?’”, shared the manager in a presser during the Manila-leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup trophy tour.
HAPPENING RIGHT NOW!
— FOX Sports PH (@FOXSports_PH) October 27, 2018
Fortunately, the agreement between the manager and the vastly experienced mentor has been mutual.
“I think (it’s not about the) financial remuneration… (Eriksson) believes in the legacy that he could leave behind for Philippine football,” added the manager who serves as one the main reason for the resurgence of the Philippine national football team in the international scene.
Once the news has been broken, social media caught up with the news of the development that definitely could be considered as one of the biggest in Southeast Asian football.
Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has been named as head coach of the Philippines national team.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) October 27, 2018
RESMI: Sven-Göran Eriksson jadi pelatih baru Filipina. Siap-siap ketemu di Piala AFF 2018 nih. pic.twitter.com/eKCkyaUTC6
— PanditFootball.com (@panditfootball) October 27, 2018
Come early November, a new dawn will come into fruition for the Southeast Asian nation which, just a few years back, were considered as minnows in the sport. Sven-Goran Eriksson is set to arrive in the Philippines to guide his new team.
“We start our final camp on November 3 and we leave for Bacolod on the 7th,” shared Dan Palami.
“I think (Coach Sven will arrive on) November 1 or 2.”