Former England skipper to take over Azkals

MANILA, Philippines — After relying on former US team skipper Thomas Dooley, the Philippine Azkals are now pinning their hopes on another decorated World Cupper in former English captain Terry Butcher to lead the way as they aim for higher aspirations in international play.

Butcher, the English defender who played in three World Cups, was announced as the Pinoy booters’ newest coach last night, tasked with the responsibility of whipping the team into shape first in the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup later in the year and eventually in the main battle ahead in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

Butcher’s appointment ushered in a shake-up in the Phl XI coaching staff as he will be joined by former Irish mentor Scott Cooper, who will act as senior football adviser of the team, former Azkal Chris Greatwich as assistant coach and Steve Marcels as goalkeeping coach.

The 59-year-old Butcher previously managed clubs in England, Australia, Scotland and Wales and served as assistant coach for Scotland. Cooper, who owned a league championship with Buriram United in Thailand, is expected to help Butcher get accustomed with Asean football.