JUST like his eagerness to find a resolution to the ongoing feud between players and coach at the Philippine men’s football team, Dan Palami is also keen to do whatever it takes to put an end to University of the Philippines’ run of futility in the UAAP.
But the national team and Maroons manager admits he can only do so much at UP.
“Magkaiba kasi ang role ko dito sa Azkals at sa UP,” Palami said on Thursday. “Mas maraming protocols ang dapat i-follow sa UAAP.”
“I don’t have a say on anything much. It’s more of a voluntary thing na makatulong sa UP," he added. “Hindi kagaya dito sa Azkals na if the coach is not performing well, I can replace him easily.”
So is he saying Maroons coach Rey Madrid’s performance leaves much to be desired?
“I’m not saying na coach Rey has to be replaced,” Palami said of Madrid, who has been winless in his tenure as UP coach and has gone 0-6 (win-loss) for the season so far.
“All I’m saying is that in the scope of elbow room that I have when it comes to the team, syempre I have to respect the protocols of the team and what the system has imposed, also in the recruitment of players.”
Palami said he is hoping Madrid has learned from a two-game suspension he incurred after accusing the referees during the Maroons’ loss to University of Santo Tomas of point-shaving.
The businessman-sportsman also has to do a balancing act with the Azkals, who are trying to weather a controversy involving a 'revolt' by some players against head coach Thomas Dooley.
Palami sat on the head table as Dooley fired back at Stephan Schrock, calling him selfish and unprofessional after the Azkals' star midfielder announced that he will not play for the national team as long as Dooley is in charge.
“I think the coach (Madrid) has, I’m sure, realized the importance of controlling his emotions, especially during press cons,” Palami said.
"I hope all coaches are able to control themselves,” he added, drawing laughter from the press.
“But I’m sure (Madrid) regrets the fact that he had to publicly disclose his displeasure over the refereeing in a manner that is actually unacceptable.”
Palami is also hoping the Maroons, even without Madrid, who will serve the final game of his suspension, finally break their 27-game losing streak on Saturday, when they face fellow cellar-dweller in Adamson.
“The job is to break that streak and hopefully find our first win this Saturday,” Palami said of the matchup against the Falcons, probably the Maroons’ best chance to win for the first time in almost two years.