James Younghusband open to coaching Azkals
MANILA, Philippines – With his playing career in football winding down, James Younghusband bared on the Usapang Football webcast hosted by this writer last Monday, June 22, that he would love to stay in the game when he hangs up his boots.
And coaching the national team — the Azkals — is in the realm of possibility.
“It’s a possibility,” postulated Younghusband, who has played 1,010 matches for the Philippine senior team while scoring 12 goals. “These things just come. It’s timing. I can speak to every player and there are loads of us who want to coach the Philippine Azkals because it’s an honor and great experience. There are personalities like Rob Gier and Chris Greatwich, whose personalities are suited to those roles
“Me and (younger brother who has moved back to England after the end of his long and distinguished playing career) Phil would love that. If we’ve got the experience and the time is right, we’ll see. We need to get our experience as there are players ahead of us. But who knows how these things work out? Maybe in the future we can get a run-in?”
James is currently signed to Ceres, but he admits that the pandemic has him doing a lot of reflecting.
“After you turn 30, you think, ‘Oh, I don’t have long left.’ In football terms, time flies by,” admitted the 33-year old Fil-British footballer. “Obviously, with this pandemic, the plan was to play out this year with Ceres and then re-assess. I had a great time last year with Ceres where we won a double.I decided to stay for one more year then this pandemic happened. We’ll see what happens when football is allowed to play.”
Coincidentally, this is Younghusband’s 15th year in football in the Philippines. Thus far, he has scored 54 goals for local clubs (San Beda, Loyola Meralco Sparks, Davao Aguilas and Ceres) and 12 for the senior national team. Younghusband has 101 caps.
“My goal is to remain in football,” bared James. “Coaching is another pleasure I get. Although there are other things I want to get into such as painting and design (he has always had a talent for the arts).”
“The game has been good to me. It is time to give back.”