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Filipinas get new coach

Newly-appointed Philippine women's football coach Mark Torcaso is upbeat on putting up a formidable team. (Photo from PFF)

Newly-appointed Philippine women’s football head coach Mark Torcaso will have to make do with the limited time that he has in whipping the Filipinas into fiery form not just for the 19th Asian Games but for the Olympic qualifiers as well.

Torcaso, who is also the head coach for Western United in the A-League Women in Australia, said the first order of business for him and the coaching staff is gauging the players’ physical and mental capabilities as the Filipinas are revving up for the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

Lending a hand to Torcaso are Western United under-23 assistant coach Andrew Durante and South Melbourne FC Technical Director Sinisa Cohadzic.

Torcaso entered the scene after Alen Stajcic opted to bring his coaching expertise back in Australia. Stajcic will be best remembered for steering the Filipinas to a memorable performance in the World Cup.

“I think as I understand, a lot of the girls have returned to their home countries and to some of their clubs so it’s obviously gauging where they’re at and initial report from the medical staff where they are physically,” Torcaso said.

“So, it’s important for us in the first couple of days in the camp just to see where they are physically but also mentally because some of these players came off from two years of football,” he said.

Though faced with a short buildup for the Asian Games, Torcaso insists there is still something good that could come out.

“I think it’s difficult to have such a short time to prepare a side for the Asian Games but it’s also a good indication for us to see where we are going to go in the Olympic qualifiers as well. Hopefully, we can get as much as we can going into this can and be prepared as we can for the Asian Games and be prepared for the Olympic qualifiers.”

Filipinas team manager Jefferson Cheng said the training camp will begin at the end of August in time for Hangzhou and the Olympic qualifiers set to take the spotlight from 26 October to 1 November in Perth, Australia.

“The Asian Games is just around the corner. We’re sort of under tight pressure as well but we’re glad coach mark has joined us and we start the ball rolling with the camps of the U-17 and the senior team simultaneously in Manila starting at the end of August and all the way to the tournament dates,” Cheng said.

As Torcaso, will be handling both Western United and the Filipinas, he believes he can pull it off with a solid crew backing him up.

“The reason Western United was successful was because we had a strong good staff that supported me. We’ve brought in a staff that will help me in this role as well,” Torcaso said.

“I don’t look at the head coach role as just the head coach. It’s about the staff that collectively do a good job so I’m confident I will be able to balance these two roles extremely well it’s all about the staff that is all around you.”

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