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Ex-England captain Terry Butcher resigns as Azkals coach

Former England captain Terry Butcher won't call the shots anymore for the Philippine Azkals.

Butcher made the announcement in a statement released to Press Association Sport late Thursday night Manila time.

"I'm sorry to announce that I will not be proceeding in the role as head coach of the Philippines national football team," Butcher said in the statement.

"Across recent months I've been intensely engaged with many people to thoroughly understand and prepare for this exciting challenge. The vital issue for myself was to build a robust plan to meet the football ambitions of the national team and 'do the country proud.'"

"I remain convinced that the Philippines has great potential and I'm impressed with the high-caliber people that I've had the pleasure to meet.

"Regretfully I've not been able to make this work in the way that I intended and I decided not to pursue the role."

Butcher concluded his statement by saying he wished the Azkals good luck in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup and that he looked forward to "seeing a Philippine team in the World Cup."

Butcher, who made three appearances for England in the World Cup, was announced as the next Azkals coach in a press event on July 14. He even joined Philippine Football Federation president Mariano Araneta in Russia to watch the opening of the World Cup. He was supposed to replace American mentor Thomas Dooley as Azkals coach. The latter's contract wasn't renewed when it expired last March.

The PFF reacted to the sudden resignation by releasing its own statement to the media.

"The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) accepts with understanding the announcement of Coach Terry Butcher not to proceed as head coach of the National Team of the Philippines," the statement read.

The PFF didn't disclose the reason Butcher's sudden resignation. But in a statement, Azkals team manager Dan Palami mentioned that Butcher "expressed difficulty in executing his plans for the national team program."

Palami added they understand and respect Butcher's decision.

"As manager of the national team, I was looking forward to working with Mr. Butcher as we build a strong team for the country's first Asian Cup," he said.

Despite the sudden resignation, Palami remains optimistic. After all, the Azkals will still be in good hands.

While the team begins its search for a new head coach, Scott Cooper will handle the team's preparations for the upcoming competitions.

Cooper is a former Thai Premier League champion coach.

"We remained focused on getting the best preparation for the AFF Suzuki Cup and the AFC Asian Cup.