Football coach-manager steps down

June 24, 2024 Theodore P. Jurado 229 views

JEFFERSON Cheng, who managed the Philippines to a historic FIFA World Cup appearance last year, has decided to step down from his role as the national women’s football team manager.

“Last Thursday, I informed the PFF Director of National Teams that I am stepping away from my role as Team Manager of the women’s teams,” Cheng said, referring to Freddy Gonzalez, in a statement yesterday afternoon.

“For several months, we tried our best to make things work, under new and very different circumstances. Unfortunately, the situation is not workable.

“Our priorities and goals do not align, and the PWNT organization that we worked hard to develop in the past years is incompatible with current methods,” he added.

The Filipinas scored a breakthrough victory in the World Cup last year. Sarina Bolden’s header gave the Philippines a 1-0 reversal of host New Zealand.

Two years ago, the Filipinas were queens of Southeast Asia after winning the AFF Women’s Championship for the first time with Alen Stajcic at the helm. Also in 2022, the Filipinas earned a bronze medal in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam.

“I want to thank all of you for the support and kindness that you have shown me. It is through you that our efforts have not gone unnoticed and I am grateful to have shared some of the best football experiences with all of you,” Cheng said.

In a statement, Gonzalez hopes that the country’s women’s football program will be sustained despite Cheng’s decision to step down.

“Regretfully, I’ve had to accept Jeff Cheng’s wish to depart as Manager of the Philippine Women’s National Teams. His massive contribution to Philippine Football has been a source of great pride for all of us in the last few years, and I had hoped he could continue in his role. It’s a big loss, but I must respect his decision and move forward,” Gonzalez said.

“As Director of National Teams, the challenge of filling the void created by this departure falls under my responsibility. It’s a huge challenge, but I have every intention to make sure we keep the program of the women’s national team progressing in the right direction. We must continue building on Jeff’s great work.

“There’s a lot to be done. We’ll be sharing more news soon,” he added.