Tom Saintfiet Appointed as Head Coach of Philippine Men's National Football Team

Tom Saintfiet Appointed as Head Coach of Philippine Men’s National Football Team

In a strategic move aimed at bolstering the Philippine men’s national football team, the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) has announced Tom Saintfiet as the team’s new head coach.

The appointment, revealed by the PFF on Monday, marks a significant step in the federation’s pursuit of triumph in regional and international competitions, including the AFF Mitsubishi Cup and qualification for the Asian Cup and the World Cup.

National teams director Freddy Gonzalez expressed confidence in Saintfiet’s ability to lead the team to success, emphasizing the coach’s track record and the ambitious goals set by the federation.

“I was in need of a new task, an ambitious task. I was not in need of a new job, I am in need of a new project. I’m proud to be a part of this ambitious project and I’m sure we altogether will succeed in our dreams,” said Saintfiet during a press conference.

At 50 years old, Saintfiet brings a wealth of experience coaching national teams, having previously led Gambia from 2018 to 2024. His coaching career spans various countries, including Malta, Trinidad and Tobago, Bangladesh, Togo, Malawi, Yemen, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, and Namibia. Notably, he guided the Gambia national team to consecutive appearances in the Africa Cup of Nations in 2021 and 2023, achieving a sixth-place finish in the latter.

Gonzalez emphasized the importance of consistency and stability, highlighting Saintfiet’s long-term commitment to the team and the federation’s vision for sustained success.

“One of the most important things for us, the national teams, is consistency and stability. That’s something we lacked in the past. Coach Tom is gonna be here for a while. This is a long-term project so we have him contracted for quite a bit. Same with the pool of players,” Gonzalez stated.

The new era under Saintfiet’s leadership will commence promptly, with an open training session scheduled for Friday afternoon. Additionally, the national men’s team is gearing up for the March window of the World Cup qualifiers, with matches against Iraq in Basra and a return home.