Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Phil Younghusband misses former Azkals coach McMenemy’s presence


By Alfonso Ramirez

Phil Younghusband, the British-Filipino who has become the pin-up boy of Philippine football, has admitted missing somebody very dearly.

No, the 24-year-old former Chelsea reserve, was not referring to his rumored girlfriend, actress Angel Locsin, when he made the admission on the eve of the Philippine national men’s football team’s departure for Dubai, where the Azkals will hold a two-week training camp in preparation for their upcoming campaign in the AFC Challenge Cup in Nepal. Neither was he referring to his mother, Susan, who passed away in September.

Younghusband, who plays for the Loyola Meralco Sparks in the fledgling UFL, minced no words in admitting that he misses former Azkals coach, Simon McMenemy.

“I was very close to Simon and was sad to see him go. He was one of the key reasons why we had the success we did. I often wonder what could have happened if he was still here,” he said in a phone patch from Manila.

McMenemy, who brought the Azkals to the semifinals of the 2010 AFC Suzuki Cup that thereby triggered a renaissance of sorts for Philippine football, was replaced by current national team coach Hans Michael Weiss.

McMenemy is currently head coach of Indonesia Super League club Mitra Kukar.

“He did a great thing for Philippine football and he’s doing well now in Indonesia,” Younghusband said of McMenemy. “I’m still in contact. But now we have a new coach and he’s doing well.”

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