Butcher named Philippines boss ahead of Asian Cup

Manila: Former England captain Terry Butcher has been named as the new head coach of the Philippines as the Azkals prepare to make their Asian Cup debut early next year.

The former defender, who played in three World Cups, replaces former USA captain Thomas Dooley, whose four-year reign ended on March 18, officials announced late on Thursday.

A post on the team’s Facebook page hailed the appointment of Butcher as well as Sheffield-born Scott Cooper, who was named as senior football adviser.

Butcher, 59, is best known for captaining England in a 1989 World Cup qualifier against Sweden, when he bravely played on with a bandaged head and blood-spattered kit after splitting his forehead in an aerial collision.

His first major test will be November’s AFF Suzuki Cup, the Southeast Asian championship, before January’s Asian Cup in the UAE, where the Philippines are grouped with China, South Korea and Kyrgyzstan.

Dooley, who took charge in 2014, guided the Azkals — local slang for street dogs — to their first ever Asian Cup qualification as they climbed 12 places in the Fifa world rankings to 115th as of January.

But Dooley but also publicly squabbled with one of his players, Philippine midfielder Stephan Schrock, who was later dropped.

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