Philippine national men’s football team manager Dan Palami expressed optimism that the rift of star players Stephan Schrock and Dennis Cagara and their coach Thomas Dooley will be fixed soon.
Schrock and Cagara took to social media last Monday to announce their departure from the national team because of their conflict with Dooley. They both said that they will not suit for the Philippines until the American coach is at the helm.
In a statement, Palami called the decision of Schrock and Cagara to leave the Azkals for the meantime “unfortunate,” but said that, like in families, disagreements among team members are just normal.
“It is unfortunate that Stephan and Dennis have made their decision (not to suit up for the Azkals for now). The level of skill and depth of experience they bring to the game will surely be missed,” Palami wrote. “It is natural even amongst family for differences to arise, especially when changes are introduced.”
Schrock and Cagara joined the Azkals in 2011, while Dooley took over the squad last January.
Palami said that constant communication between Schrock and Cagara and Dooley will be made in an effort to iron out their differences.
“Because of this, and through sustained dialogue forged on mutual respect, I am optimistic we will reach a resolution that will be most beneficial to the team and that will bring us even closer to our common goals,” Palami wrote.
Despite the newest controversy hounding the Azkals, Palami is hoping for continuous support from fans as they play in a couple of tournaments later this year.
“I would like to thank the fans and supporters of the Azkals who continue to believe in the team. Fans and football observers -whether informed or misinformed, have expressed strong opinions on the choices that players and management should make, and I choose to take that as evidence of how much we’ve all come to care for the future of Philippine football,” Palami wrote.
“We count on your support even more now as we focus on the Peace Cup in September and the Suzuki Cup in November.”
Dooley has yet comment about the issue, but is expected to make an official statement on Thursday.