…says, “Africans must have faith in African coaches,”
Imagine you were Sellas Tetteh and you’re given the task to qualify Rwanda’s Amavubi Stars to the 2012 Nations Cup, the U-23 for the 2011 All Africa Games in Mozambique, the 2012 London Olympic Games as well as taking Rwanda to next year’s CHAN in Sudan, and all that in two years? Is there a tougher test than that, even for the most successful coach yon can mention?
If indeed there is a tougher assignment for any coach, especially in charge of most, if not all African teams above the top 50 in Fifa world ranking than what Ghana’s Fifa U-20 World Cup winning coach has been assigned for the next two years, then we better continue to enjoy the beautiful game.
Even with a coaching experience spurning ten continuous years in his native Ghana, where he’s one of the most famous personalities because of his achievements, Tetteh will surely have his hands full when he takes to his desk, starting March 1.
In Rwanda’s football history, only one man, Djukovic Ratomir has achieved one of what Tetteh has been assigned to accomplish, so what does this tell us about the nature of the new coach’s contract visa vie his capability as well as the resources he has to work in order to achieve these targets.
Fortunately or not for him, there will be no World Cup qualifiers during the length of his contract, otherwise that would add another load on the already what promises to be probably the toughest two years of his coaching career.
With due respect to all his past achievements, mainly as coach and not as player, including being the only man to win a World title with an African team as well as having been to football’s biggest competition at all levels (U-17, U-20 and the senior level, Tetteh will have a lot more to do in Rwanda than in all his previous jobs.
And fortunately he seems well aware of that as he told the press on his unveiling last Friday, “I know there is a lot of work to do and there is a lot expected from me, but I can’t do much alone, we shall need to work together (with every concerned), and we must be patient.”
He talked of feeling “privileged to be offered the job by Rwanda”, and midway, he hinted to something like, “in Ghana, the players had a winning mentality”.
He emphasized his need for a close working relationship with the national football federation leadership—most importantly, the media! He said, “my friends” while referring to the journalist, who had occupied three-quarters of the seats in the hall.
The key words that caught my close attention were, “patience”, “Ghanaian players having a winning mentality” and “my friends”.
Contrary to all his predecessors, he went ahead to admit, “The Rwanda is a big challenge for me. It’s important that Africans have faith in African coaches. I wanted a new challenge and Rwanda has given me that.”
“It’s a loaded job but I know I can’t do it alone, I can only achieve something with your support,” he preached, before noting that he chose Rwanda (over who, he didn’t say) because he “wanted to print his name in Rwanda.”
Rwanda has only qualified for the Nations Cup once in 2004 but has never played at neither the Olympic Games nor All Africa Games, so Tetteh will have to do what all his predecessors, apart from Ratomir failed to do.
And to start with, Rwanda was not only given a tough draw for the qualifying campaign of 2012 CAN to be co-hosted by Guinea Bissau and Gabon but also handed the toughest possible opening fixture away to group favourites Ivory Coast in September. Benin and Rwanda will be hoping to finish second, so the battle will be stiffer, Burundi won’t go down easily.
Yet, if Tetteh achieves half of his assignment with the kind of resources that are not even half of what he was working with in Ghana, then he’ll have succeeded with his summons to have faith in African coaches.
But like he confessed on his unveiling that he attributes all his achievement to God’s power, he will surely need to doubles his prayers if he’s not only going to achieve his goals and but also print his name in Rwanda.