A NEW era dawns for Philippine football after former England captain Terry Butcher was formally announced as the Azkals' new head coach on Thursday at the Waterside Bar in Solaire.
This basically confirmed the Scottish Sun's report on Wednesday that the 59 year old former Rangers defender will be taking over the coaching job vacated by coach Thomas Dooley.
Dooley's contract expired last March 31 - a few days after the Azkals qualified to the Asian Cup for the first time in history.
Butcher will be bringing in 17 years of experience as a manager, having handled clubs in different countries such as England, Scotland and Australia.
"After having the team for the past eight years, there comes a time when you feel you need to reignite and make necessary changes," said Azkals chief benefactor Dan Palami.
"We need somebody who could inspire the players more and give them the necessary energy and inspiration to do better," he added.
He had his best time as a manager in the Scottish Premier League for Motherwell from 2002 to 2006, with his best year coming in 2005 where the club reached the Scottish League Cup finals, losing to the Rangers.
His years as a player were much more colorful as he was capped 77 times by the Three Lions, wearing the captain's armband in the 1986 World Cup where they got eliminated by Argentina in the quarterfinals through the infamous 'Hand of God' goal by Diego Maradona.
Butcher is currently in Russia right now as an analyst for BBC in the upcoming World Cup.
"A big thank you to Thomas Dooley for improving the team. I see this as a big challenge. It will be fun work, exciting work. There's exciting times ahead with the Suzuki Cup and Asian cup," said Butcher.
"We want to win games with finesse and skill. I want to see my players enjoy their jobs. I want them to play within the structure of the team. I like to play free-flowing expanding football," he added.