Coffs Harbour’s Gary Phillips prepares Nepal for FIFA World Cup qualifiers

Gary Phillips Head Coach of the Nepal Women’s national team.


COFFS Harbour’s Gary Phillips is faced with one of the toughest jobs in football as the head coach of the Nepal women’s football team prepares his team for qualification of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup whilst the country is in lockdown.

With Nepal in COVID-19 lockdown, Phillips is coaching the national team through Zoom meetings from his home in Coffs Harbour.

Phillips was appointed Technical Director of the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) in 2019 and in February 2021 was appointed the women’s national coach before the country went into lockdown.

The former Sydney Olympic and Brisbane Strikers NSL midfielder will require every inch of his vast experience across Asia where he has coached clubs in Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines, as well as serving as the manager of the Papua New Guinea national women’s team.

Phillips is taking one step at a time as he gave the News Of The Area insights into the mountainous road ahead.

“I am mainly coaching theory with the women’s national team who are in lockdown in Nepal, we work on the theory, tactics and strategy.

“Our focus is on qualification for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup competition which will be held later this year from 13 to 25 September 2021, if we do well then we play next year in the 2022 Asian Cup and that will determine if we qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in 2023.

“But we aren’t looking that far ahead, our focus is on Asian Cup in September, that’s what we are preparing for right now,” stated Phillips.

Phillips is optimistic the Himalayan nation can climb the mountain.

“When I look down from the sixth floor of my apartment in Thamel (Kathmandu, Nepal) I see people playing football everywhere, on rooftops, in the street, in parks, anywhere, boys, girls and players of all ages.

“Football is ingrained in the culture, life in Nepal can seem like organised chaos at times but the Nepali people find a way to make it work, resilience and overcoming obstacles is part of their DNA.

“The women’s team are currently ranked 16th in Asia so we will be looking to advance up the rankings in September and progress forwards,” said Phillips.

The Nepali national coach has an impressive football resume which includes a spell as Technical Director of North Coast Football and he praised the quality of junior talent on the north coast.

“There’s a lot of junior talent on the north coast, more pathways into the elite level will result in more players turning professional and progressing through the ranks,” said Phillips.



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