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Scott Cooper steps down as Azkals' chief tactician

Scott Cooper has left his job as Azkals' coach. PFF (file photo)
By Gil Moriones

MANILA--Amid the ecstasy of the Filipinas' bronze medal finish in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam, the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) announced the departure of Scott Cooper as the head coach for the Philippine Azkals.

In a statement on Sunday, the PFF said that Cooper is stepping down after being with the Azkals for three years.

PFF national teams committee chairman Dan Palami expressed his gratitude to Cooper for leading the team. 

"We thank coach Scott for sharing his knowledge, time, effort, and making great sacrifices to our men's national team program," said Palami, also the Azkals' team manager.

"We had our share of challenges handling the team and competing during the COVID-19 pandemic. During his time in charge, we were able to secure a commitment from players who we believe can help us in achieving our goals. We wish coach Scott all the best in his future endeavors", he added. 

Cooper expressed his own gratitude, saying, “It was a pleasure working with all the staff and players. I would like to take the opportunity to thank Dan Palami for his trust and support and Stephan Schrock and Neil Etheridge for their unwavering support.”

The Irish-English football manager already served the national football team since 2018 after he was appointed as Interim Senior Team Adviser and later tasked to facilitate the Azkals' training camp in September 2018 in collaboration with the national team's coach at that moment, Terry Butcher. 

He also assisted Sven Goran Eriksson during the debut days of the Azkals in the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup and 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

When Eriksson's contractual obligations ended, Cooper took over to coach the team. 

He mentored the Azkals Development Team in the 2020 Philippines Football League season. 

The PFF will announce the Azkals' new coach in the coming days ahead of their preparations for the Asian Cup Qualifiers in Mongolia from June 8-14.

“I would like to take the opportunity to wish the Azkals all the best for the future,” Cooper expressed his good wishes to the Azkals.

Follow him on Twitter: @gilpuyatstation

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