MANILA Feb 22 The coach of the struggling
Philippines soccer team on Thursday told Reuters he plans to
quit his job in an effort to improve the national game.
Jose Caslib said the national team had failed to qualify
for any competitive tournaments so his time would be better
spent coaching younger players.
"It's not strange to do this, I have to work with the
younger players so we can reach our full potential," Caslib
told Reuters by telephone.
"This will help the Philippines continue to move forward.
If I can strengthen the younger players, in two to three years,
they can make us a much better team."
The Philippines currently lag far behind most other South
East Asian teams and once endured almost 13 years without a
The country has no professional league and its top players
compete only around 20 times a year, mostly against amateur
clubs and university teams in the capital Manila.
They were the surprise qualifiers for the recent ASEAN
championships, but could only manage a single point after two
embarrassing 4-0 defeats and a goalless draw.
Caslib said that by improving the under-23 squad, he was
confident future Philippine teams would no longer be the
region's whipping boys.
"We have to work hard with the young players," said Caslib,
whose team chose not to enter the qualifying rounds for either
the World Cup or the Olympics.
"With a good programme in place, I think our senior team
will be able to compete alongside other countries in Asia."