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Norman Fegidero named Azkals U23 coach for SEA Games as Stewart Hall becomes PFF director

Norman Fegidero is back as Philippine team coach. PFF (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Stewart Hall is moving up a notch in the Philippine Football Federation coaching circle as he has been named the federation's new technical director.

The announcement was made in a virtual press conference on Friday.

This means Hall will be letting go of his role as the head coach of the Azkals' under-23 team and will now basically oversee the situation in all of the Azkals and Malditas' squads per age group especially equipping up and coming football coaches in the country.

"He is a UEFA pro-licensed instructor, and it's really fitting that we at the PFF would get a man like him to implement the roadmap for football development in our country," PFF president Nonong Araneta said on the 62-year-old English mentor.

He added that the said map will be submitted to FIFA officials who will come to the Philippines next month.

PFF secretary-general Ed Gastanes added, "We're excited and happy to have Coach Stewart to be our technical director after more than one year of the PFF not having a real technical director. He's very much qualified and competent."

With Hall leading the way, Gastanes said that the PFF is now eyeing for a "pro level membership in the AFC Coaching Education Convention."

"We now go on a journey with the under-16 and under-19 boys and under-15 and under-18 girls... We've got three or four months of hard work now identifying squads, players, and a pool of national team coaches to look after them, which is really really important, doing the ongoing training and mentorship of those coaches, getting the players into camps and getting them organized," Hall said, adding that he wants the youth teams to be competitive enough as they return from a long layoff due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With Hall moving to a new position, the PFF is bringing in Philippine football legend Norman Fegidero to handle the U23 squad.

The 52-year-old gaffer is known as the hero in the Philippine team's win against Malaysia in the 1991 Southeast Asian Games at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, scoring the match's lone goal.

The win was considered at that time as a huge upset.

Fegidero previously coached the seniors squad in 2008 during the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers.

Araneta said that Hall helped in choosing his successor in the U23 squad, which will see action in the 2022 SEA Games in Hanoi this May.

"We have already given him the new model, and he will be consulting Coach Hall once he comes here in Manila," Araneta further said.

He then added that the entire coaching staff for the U23 Azkals this May will be all-Filipino.

Hall then said that Fegidero is already aware about the composition of the squad.

"He's familiar with the players. The players are familiar with him. That's a very good start. Everybody is comfortable together," Hall said.

The core of the U23 Azkals will be seeing action in the Copa Paulino Alcantara starting on Monday as the Azkals Development Team, and Fegidero is expected to handle the club.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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