Jeff Cheng 'steps away' as Filipinas manager

Jeff Cheng is no longer the Filipinas' team manager. PFF (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

BONTOC--The Philippine football community was rocked on Sunday when Jeff Cheng announced his resignation as the team manager of the Philippine women's national football team.

According to Cheng, he already notified the Philippine Football Federation of his intent to "step away" from the Filipinas job late last week.

"Last Thursday, I informed the PFF Director of National Teams (Freddy Gonzalez) that I am stepping away from my role as team manager of the women’s teams," Cheng said in a statement.

Cheng bared that he tried to make things work with the PFF's new higher-ups led by current president John Gutierrez.

"For several months, we tried our best to make things work, under new and very different circumstances. Unfortunately, the situation is not workable. Our priorities and goals do not align, and the PWNT organization that we worked hard to develop in the past years is incompatible with current methods," Cheng further said.

Under Cheng's leadership, the Filipinas soared to great heights their "ates" were wishing for back when they were still known as the Malditas.

The Filipinas made history last year when they became the first Philippine football team to not just qualify but also win a match in a FIFA World Cup after stunning co-host New Zealand on a Sarina Bolden goal that actually gave them a shot at making the knockout stages.

The Filipinas also established themselves as a Southeast Asian powerhouse, moving up to number two in the region, just closely behind Vietnam, even as they are seventh in Asia and 39th in the world.

With him vacating his Filipinas post, Cheng can focus more on leading the way for PFL club Davao Aguilas, which has made a surprise run as a title contender in only their first season back.

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