DESPITE being eliminated from the recent ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup, Philippine national football team head Coach Thomas Dooley found 2016 as a good year for the Philippine Azkals.
Dooley stressed that considering the team’s preparations, “I think the team did outstanding. But, I want my preparation to be imposed in 2017,” he said.
“We have tested the players when they came back from the league and the fitness level was a little bit better than the best team from Italy – the best U12 team,” he stressed.
The American coach explained that “if we know the team is in that horrible condition, the only way to get it done is training. But, if I can’t train the team, how do they get fit?” He further said that there’s no way that the Azkals will win the Suzuki Cup when he only have a couple of session to train the players.
“Next year, I would like to have the team a longer period of time. Teams in the league need to know that the training is not enough to compete in the high level of football. Maybe it is good enough to play in the league here but, not internationally,” Dooley stressed.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Football Federation will have a new national league which is set to kick off in March.
This league, the Philippines Football League (PFL), will be the first legit national tournament which will feature at least 6 teams and will serve as the qualifying for all international competitions where clubs or national teams are involved.
This PFL is designed to go down to cities and provinces to further strengthen its fan base and professional football in general.
Deadline for interested clubs will have until December 31, 2016 to submit their applications.