Former England soccer captain Terry Butcher has stepped down as head coach of the Philippines team after less than a month.
Butcher, appointed last month to replace Thomas Dooley and prepare the Azkals for their first-ever Asian Cup appearance in January, leaves Manila without taking charge of a single game.
“I’m sorry to announce that I will not be proceeding in the role as head coach of the Philippines national football team,” Butcher said in a statement published by Press Association Sport today (Friday, August 3).
He did not give specific details about his decision but implied that his training strategy for the team had not gone as planned.
“The vital issue for myself was to carefully build a robust plan to meet the football ambitions of the national team and ‘do the country proud’ … Regretfully, I’ve not been able to make this work in the way that I intended and I’ve decided not to continue the role.”
As we have previously reported, the 59-year-old had pledge to take the Azkals to the World Cup. “The Philippines is in the Asian Cup. Why can’t we look further on? That is what we have to do,” he said in an interview released by the Philippine team.
The Azkals’ team manager Dan Palami wished Butcher well.
“As manager of the national team, I was looking forward to working with Mr Butcher as we build a strong team for the country’s first Asian Cup,” he said in a statement. “It is unfortunate, however, that Mr Butcher has expressed difficulty in executing his plans for the national team programme.”
The Philippines have been grouped with South Korea, China and Kyrgyzstan in January’s continental competition.
“I wish all good things for the Azkals and in particular success in their debut in the 2019 Asia Cup,” Butcher added.
The Philippines start preparations for the tournament in September with a trip to Bahrain. The team will then participate in Southeast Asia’s biennial tournament in November with group games against Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.