Newly appointed coach of Mauritania Amir Abdou is delighted with his start after leading the Mourabitounes two friendly victories insisting there are great signs for future successes.
The history-making trainer, who led Comoros to their first TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations appearance in Cameron two months ago, was in charge of Mauritania for the first time when they defeated Libya (2-0) and Mozambique (2-1) during the international break last week.
The former Comoros coach Abdou told CAFOnline.com, who also previously coached local Mauritanian giants Nouadhibou, said despite the difficulty of putting together the new Mourabitounes squad within some few days is delighted with the outcome.
”It is not easy to put a team in place for eight to ten days, and I am very satisfied with these first two matches which have made it possible to put a smile on the people’s face, especially since the teams from Mozambique and Libya are of very good quality,” said the tactician who led the Comoros to the Round of 16 at the recent AFCON.
Before the two friendlies, data was put together on the shortcomings and difficulties of the existing players and those on the periphery of the squad. This resulted in the decision to bring in goalkeeper Babacar Niasse, thanks to his experience in Europe.
“Babacar Niasse (Tondela goalkeeper in Portugal) was made one of the choices for my project thanks to his experience in Europe, I am very happy,” said the coach, making a positive assessment of his first matches with Mauritania.
“Four goals and one conceded, two wins, that’s a good record,” he noted, referring to quality players on the attacking front with Pape Ibnou Ba (Le Havre, France), Aboubakar Kamara (Aris Salonika, Greece), Souleymane Doukara (Ettifaq, Saudi Arabia), Hemeya Tanjy (FC Nouadhibou), in the local championship a player with great potential.
Mauritania, he continued, must “improve in certain areas but must establish a good base of the team which requires a good defensive foundation,” Abdou said.
For the next few weeks, the coach of the Mourabitounes, who were eliminated in the first round of the recent AFCON, has planned to hold a training camp next for home-based players.
“We need to put together a more competitive team and it is planned to have friendly matches to prepare for the CHAN (African Nations Championship) qualifiers and those for the next AFCON.
Abdou who will be in charge of both national teams is working to qualify the two sides for the CHAN and AFCON insisting with the latter competition only the best players, whether home-based or foreign-based will be selected for the senior national team.
“In the matches against Mozambique, five local players started the match and they played well,” he said of the 2-1 win.
Mauritanian football is developing and there is great potential, stressing that his presence as coach of FC Nouadhibou allowed him to get an idea of the quality of the players playing in the domestic league.
“It is a bad approach to choose a player based on where he played, be it home-based or foreign-based. It is the best who will play,” said the former coach of the Comoros.
Following his heroics at the recent AFCON in Cameroon, Amir Abdou said he is “delighted and wants to return to this competition”.
“It’s a prestigious competition and the Comoros had a great African Cup of Nations. We made our people proud,” said the coach who spent several years on the bench of his country’s national team before sealing their first appearance in the recent tournament in Cameroon.
At the 2022 World Cup, the former coach of the Comoros tipped Cameroon, Morocco and Senegal as the African countries to impress at the global tournament in November in Qatar.
” There are very good players in these teams and we are behind them, Africa in general will push them to go very far and why in the last four of aces ”, he said, stressing that he presents himself as their first supporter of these countries.
“African football is developing, moving forward, I am very positive, there are very good players and they can go far in this very competitive competition that is the World Cup,” he said.
Ghana and Tunisia will complete the five other countries that will represent Africa in Qatar.
Frederick Marfo is a sportswriter and social worker well known for his advocacy for equal chances and rights for all athletes, especially those with disabilities.