MANILA (19 Jan 2011) – Hans Michael Weiss arrived in Manila this week to take over as the new chief coach of the Philippines and at once declared that the team has to comfortably beat Mongolia before they can plan for the future.
The Philippines will take on Mongolia in a two-game qualifying round for a place in the group stage of the AFC Challenge Cup.
“We have to focus on Mongolia, that’s the important thing,” said Weiss. “We must beat them comfortably then we can talk about other issues. I also have the SEA Games in mind.”
Weiss said that he was impressed by the Azkals’ performance at the Suzuki Cup, considering that the country do not have a regular league.
“The team impressed me,” added Weiss. “But obviously we have players like Neil Etheridge and Phil Younghusband who have international experience, which made it easier.
“I want to develop a very good, strong team that could move up to the second class of Asian football.”
To achieve that, Weiss said, he would like to restructure the whole program, particularly in the scouting of players for the squad.
“It’s important to build a very good structure of scouting players and move on from there,” said the 43-year-old, who has also been tasked to handle the Under-23 team for the Southeast Asian Games in December. “We need as many training and exposure as possible.”
Weiss was tapped to coach the national squad as part of the assistance package to the Philippines by the German Football Association (DFB).
Weiss steered Rwanda’s Under-17 team to the World Cup in Mexico for the first time in the country’s history where as technical director, he also developed several players in the Rwanda national team and local coaches who have now taken over their jobs in the national squad.
“I think we have left a trademark there in Rwanda,” he said. “I think Rwanda will forever speak positively about the cooperation with Germany.”
In the meantime, TV network ABS-CBN will be the official broadcaster of the AFC Challenge Cup match between the Philippine and Mongolia on 9 February.
Philippine Football Federation (PFF) president Mariano Araneta said that ABS-CBN beat rivals GMA-7 and TV-5 for the broadcasting rights of the event, which will be held at the 15,000-seater Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.