Terry Butcher appointed head coach of Philippines
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Ipswich Town legend Terry Butcher has been appointed head coach of the Philippines.
The 59-year-old former England captain has signed a two-year deal, having not held a managerial position since being sacked by Newport County in 2015.
Butcher, who was capped 77 times by the Three Lions, had previously managed Coventry, Sunderland, Motherwell, Sydney FC, Partick Thistle, Brentford, Inverness and Hiberian. He also assisted former Town team-mate George Burley when the latter managed Scotland.
Becoming a national team coach is the next step for me,” he told BBC Sport.
“People asked me whether I’d fallen out of love with the game but it felt more like the game had fallen out of love with me.
“I’ve enjoyed my punditry work, personal appearances and after-dinner speaking but there’s nothing like getting back in the dugout.
“I know what it takes to play for your country and want to impart that knowledge on my players.”
The job came about as Butcher travelled to the Philippines just over 18 months ago to visit a club side about potentially taking over. That role did not transpire, but he kept in touch with Phillipines goalkeeper coach Steve Marsella – someone Butcher worked with at Inverness.
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The Philippines – currently 115th in the FIFA rankings – qualified for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup for the first time under previous manager Thomas Dooley, whose contract expired in March.
They will face China, South Korea, and Kyrgyzstan in the group stages of the competition, which begins in January.
Before that, they are looking for their first victory in the ASEAN Football Federation Championship, also known as the Suzuki Cup, in November.
Looking to tap into a burgeoning interest in football throughout a country with a population of about 106 million, Butcher said: “The main sport is basketball but football is really growing.
“They have a massive population and if you can get them going as one big team then who knows what can happen?”