Manila: Ex-England captain Terry Butcher has been named as the new head coach of the Philippines national football team as the Azkals prepare to make their AFC 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 March 18, officials announced late Thursday.
A post on the Philippines team’s Facebook page hailed the appointment of Butcher as well as Sheffield-born Scott Cooper, who was named as senior football advisor.
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.
Butcher started his managerial debut in 1990 when he was named the manager of Coventry City. He then managed teams like Motherwell FC, Sunderland, Sydney FC, Brentford and many others.
His first major test will be November’s AFF Suzuki Cup, the Southeast Asian championship, before January’s Asian Cup, where the Philippines are grouped with China, South Korea and Kyrgyzstan.
Dooley, who took charge in 2014, guided the Azkals to their first ever Asian Cup qualification as they climbed 12 places in the FIFA world rankings to 115th as of January.