AFTER 10 years, German coach Hans Michael Weiss returns to the Philippines for a second stint as the head coach of the Azkals.

The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) officially announced the return of Weiss through its official website and its Facebook page.

“We are delighted to welcome coach Weiss back to the PHI MNT,” said PFF president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta in a statement.

Weiss was the Philippines’ head coach from 2011 to 2014. He helped steer the Philippines to one of its highest Fifa world rankings at 127th in the world.

He also mentored the Azkals to a bronze medal finish in the AFC Challenge Cup in 2012.

Weiss also led the Philippines to a semifinal finish in the AFF Suzuki Cup. He coached the Philippines for 44 matches, in which he had a 21-11-12 win-draw-loss record.

“He has kept the Philippines close to his heart and continues to be a well-respected figure by players and staff,” said Araneta.

After Weiss’ head coaching job for the Azkals was discontinued in 2014, he moved to coaching club football with Romanian club ASC Otelul Galati.

He then went on to coach Mongolia from 2017 to 2020 and then Laos 2022 to 2023.

“He has also gained valuable experience over the past decade that will help him in his return to the Philippines. We are hopeful that his second opportunity to the team will be more successful than the first,” said Araneta.

Weiss will be preparing the Azkals for two upcoming friendlies, one against Nepal’s football team on June 15 and the other against Chinese-Taipei on June 19.

The PFF has invited a mix of veterans and youngsters for the National Team pool. The players invited to the pool are Neil Etheridge, Patrick Deyto, Julian Schwarzer, Amani Aguinaldo, Jesper Nyholm, Carlie De Murga, Martin Steuble, Daisuke Sato, Santi Rublico, Jesse Curran, Marco Casambre, Mike Ott, Manny Ott, Oskari Kekkonen, Sandro Reyes, Hikaru Minegishi, Dylan De Bruyker, Kevin Ingreso, Bienvenido Marañon, Patrick Reichelt, OJ Porteria, Jared Peña, Chester Gio Pabualan, Andres Aldeguer, Kenshiro Daniels and Jarvey Gayoso. (EKA)