Coaching: Why do we despise our own?

Chances are that by the time I’m done scribbling My Pick for this weekend, Rayon Sports will have hired the services of a certain Belgian coach, Luc Eymael, as their head coach. The position fell vacant following the resignation of Frenchman Didier Gomes da Rosa two weeks ago.
Ivan R. Mugisha
Ivan R. Mugisha

Chances are that by the time I’m done scribbling My Pick for this weekend, Rayon Sports will have hired the services of a certain Belgian coach, Luc Eymael, as their head coach.

The position fell vacant following the resignation of Frenchman Didier Gomes da Rosa two weeks ago.

The common factor up there is that both Eymael and Gomes are foreigners.

One only wonders whether Rayon managers don’t believe there is enough quality on the local scene to take the club forward.

For the Amavubi, we have what most Rwandans had yearned for so long, to have one of their own in charge of the national team instead of foreigners, who earn hefty sums of Francs without anything to show for it.

By having Eric Nshimiyimana replace Milutin Sredojevic as Amavubi Stars head coach the FA made a strong statement; an important vote of confidence in our own coaches.

First, let me make it clear that I am not racist – and I don’t intend to generalise or to make some readers feel uncomfortable. My intention is purely to promote Rwandan football.

Rwanda doesn’t need foreigner coaches to help it grow its football!

Therefore, it beats my understanding when, every time a vacant  managerial post emerges, names of French, Ugandan, Congolese, Belgian and Serbians and so on and so forth, keep coming up.

Why is it that Rwandan coaches are always relegated to the role of “assistant coach” and never considered for promotion when the top chair is vacant? Isn’t this the uttermost sense of lack of belief in our potential? Does patriotism in sports end in words?

This habit, especially among our top clubs, does not help the future of football at all. We cannot talk of nurturing young, home-grown talent when we are ignoring our own coaches. It is simply impossible.

This idea of seeking quick gains and not looking long term is why our football has remained stagnant for as long as I can remember.

I know this situation is probably beyond Ferwafa’s powers since clubs are entitled to select managers from wherever they so choose, but what Ferwafa can probably do, is look into helping those interested in football management.

First of all, let’s face it, our clubs are not too wealthy to hire expert coaches. If we went into the nitty-gritty demands from these foreign coaches, you would wonder how our meek clubs actually pay up such huge sums of money and incentives.

Foreign coaches are expensive, they have to first adapt and most importantly, they are not supermen – meaning that they will fail or succeed just as much as the local coaches would. 

That is why every now and then, we hear of clubs that have failed to pay up salaries – simply because they agreed to pay obscene millions in wages yet they know they can’t afford it.

Our football is not that over publicized like the European leagues, for anyone to assume that a foreign coach would easily know which kind of players they are going to be dealing with.

Rather than hire a foreign coach who has probably never set foot in Rwanda, it is only logical to consider local coaches who understand the league and have been in football business long enough to assess the challenges.

It goes without saying that it was a brilliant idea for Ferwafa to hand the Amavubi job to our own (Nshimiyimana); and I thought it would serve as an inspiration to clubs like Rayon and APR. I sense I might end up getting disappointed.

I wish Nshimiyimana the best, and whether he is successful or not, at least he will have got credible experience at the helm, which he can take to any club in the future.

@RushAfrican on Twitter

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