AFP, Manila : Ex-US skipper Thomas Dooley was named head coach of the Philippines’ national team Friday, vowing to boost the profile of football in a nation that much prefers basketball. His predecessor, the German Michael Weiss, was sacked last month after a three-year stint in which he took Asia’s former whipping boys up 25 places to an all-time high of 127th in the FIFA rankings. “The potential that this country has in developing (soccer) players is huge,” Dooley told reporters at a Philippine Football Federation press conference. The 52-year-old has secured a one-year contract as head coach of the men’s team – known as “Azkals”, local slang for “feral dogs”. Dooley’s immediate task is winning the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup in Maldives in May. “We hope to win the tournament. That’s why we took the necessary step to bring in a new coach to the team,” Philippine Football Federation president Mariano Araneta said. Dooley admitted he had only seen his new team play twice.