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DR Congo head coach Florent Ibenge. PHOTO/CAF Online


Local coaches make big CHAN quarter-final statement

YAOUNDE, Cameroon, Jan 30 – Seven out of the eight coaches at the quarter-finals of TOTAL African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Cameroon are local trainers.

This is a clear demonstration of the desire of local coaches to also make their impact felt on the continent in high profile competitions.

Long time Africa resident Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic is the only foreign coach in the last eight after leading Zambia to advance from Group D.

Lots of African countries have increasingly been relying on foreign coaches in tournaments but in this year’s CHAN local coaches have been dominant.

It is only fitting that at the business stage of the tournament designed exclusively for home-based players, home-groomed trainers step up to the plate.

Leading the pack is coach of title holders Morocco coach Houcine Ammouta, the former Wydad Casablanca boss who led the Atlas Lions to top Group C with seven points.

The surprise second-placed team is that tough group is coached by trainer Vincent Mashami who previously coached local giants APR.

Also helping his side to secure seven points to top Group B is experienced DR Congo boss Florent Ibenge, a former coach of Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua and local side Vita Club.

The coach of their neighbouring country Congo Barthélemy Ngatsono also helped his country to qualify from that group with four points.

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Unassuming Mali coach Nouhoum Diane is famed in his country for coaching all the three top sides in the capital Bamako, having handled Djoliba, Stade Malien and AS Real, helping the latter to reach the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup in 2014.

Diane has made a big impression in this competition, securing seven points in Group A ahead of hosts Cameroon who are also coached by an experienced local hand Martin Ndtoungou Mpile.

Guinea coach Kanfoury Bangoura completes the pack as he guided his side to narrowly edge Zambia for the top spot in Group D by goal difference.

With the competition resuming on Saturday after a two-day break, the African coaches would be fancying their chances of making further important historic statements through the performances of their sides.

The quarter-final will start on Saturday when Mali play Congo in Yaounde while DR Congo take on hosts Cameroon at the Japoma Stadium in Douala.

On Sunday, Morocco will take on Zambia in Douala at the Reunification Stadium while Guinea and Rwanda clash at the Limbe Stadium.

By CAF Online 

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