Filipinas have new coach in Torcaso

By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno

August 23, 2023, 2:42 pm

<p>New Filipinas head coach Mark Torcaso <em>(Photo from PFF Facebook page)</em></p>

New Filipinas head coach Mark Torcaso (Photo from PFF Facebook page)

MANILA – The Philippine women's football team has a new coach in Australian mentor Mark Torcaso.

The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) announced on Wednesday that the 42-year-old Torcaso would replace Alen Stajcic as the Filipinas' head coach ahead of their debut in the Asian Games and the second round of the Olympic qualifiers.

Torcaso helped steer Western United to a second-place finish in only its debut season in the A-League Women, earning him Coach of the Year honors.

PFF president Nonong Araneta, secretary general Ed Gastanes and Filipinas manager Jeff Cheng traveled to Sydney over the weekend to meet with Torcaso and formalize the appointment.

Joining Torcaso in his coaching staff are his longtime assistants Sinisha Cohadzic and Andrew Durante.

Cohadzic has also been tasked to head coach the Filipinas' under-17 and under-20 teams.

“We welcome coach Mark and his staff to the PFF family,” Araneta said. “We are confident that they will continue raising the standards of the Philippine Women’s National Team on all aspects and take the team to greater heights at the back of a historic and memorable 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in New Zealand.”

“It is important that we continue the momentum from the Filipinas’ historic FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign in New Zealand,” added Gastanes. “We have a motivated and accomplished coach in Mark Torcaso together with his staff, ready to lead our women’s teams in upcoming competitions.”

Cheng then said, “We are all excited to start training and competing again. We welcome Coach Mark and his team to Philippine football, and are excited to see them build on the Filipinas’ recent achievements.”

Torcaso, meanwhile, said, “Watching the development of the team over the last couple of years has been amazing, from the AFF Championship to the World Cup, and I feel honored to be able to try to continue this growth. I am excited to take on this opportunity and I can’t wait to meet the players and the other staff in camp next week. I look forward to the challenge alongside Sinisha and Andrew.” (PNA)