Homegrown Azkals Chieffy Caligdong, Sacapano stunned by Weiss departure
Both Chieffy Caligdong and 'keeper Ed Sacapano appear to enjoy the confidence of former Azkals coach Michael Weiss. Jerome Ascano

GERMAN Michael Weiss' exit as coach of the Philippine men’s football team wasn't really shocking, but it still came as a surprise to two of the remaining homegrown Azkals.

Veterans Chieffy Caligdong and Ed Sacapaño said they were stunned by the news of the departure of the German mentor, but nevertheless believe the move is for the best going forward for the Azkals.

“Actually na-shock ako sa nangyari,” Sacapaño, the pride of Bago City, Negros Occidental, admitted to Spin.ph on Thursday. “Bigla ko na lang nalaman na naalis siya, so wala kaming magawa kasi management decision yan.”

Caligdong, the Azkals skipper from Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo, echoed his teammate’s sentiment, but assured the national squad will be prepared to adjust to the new coach.

“The team is always ready kung sino ang magiging new coach,” the 31-year-old left winger said. “Mag-aadjust kami at siya rin siguro.”

Both pure Pinoys have a harmonious relationship with the former national coach.

“We’re close. He’s a family man. Alam niya ako rin, so naintindihan niya yung mga players niya,” said Caligdong, a father of two kids. “Walang conflict dun sa kanya.”

Ditto for the 33-year-old Sacapaño, who has always stepped up for Weiss in the times when overseas-based goalkeeping stalwarts Neil Etheridge and Roland Muller were absent.

“Medyo sad lang ako kasi maganda na yung jelling ng team nung siya ang nag-handle. Halos lahat magkakakilala na, so alam na niya kung paano kami gamitin, paano kami dalhin,” said the Azkals 'keeper.

“Wala naman akong problema sa kanya,” Caligdong added. “Hindi naman siya nag-umpisa, pero alam naman natin na marami siyang nagawa, so we respect si coach Weiss kung ano yung ginawa niya.” 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos