FACE-TO-FACE WITH GABON 2017 FOUR-MIDABLE TRAINERS

Only four teams were left standing at the end of the group phase of the Total U-17 Africa Cup of Nations Gabon 2017 and in October, the quartet of Ghana; Guinea; Mali and Niger will carry the hope of the continent to the FIFA U-17 World Cup in India.

Ahead of the Semi-final matches on Wednesday, CAFOnline.Com asked the four trainers; Samuel Fabian(Ghana); Souleymane Camara(Guinea); Jonas Komla(Mali) and Ismaila Tiemoko (Niger) about their experiences so far as well as expectations in the coming days and months. Excerpts

FABIAN FANCIES STARLETS GOING ALL THE WAY

What has been your experience at the Total U-African Cup of Nations Gabon 2017?

SF: It has been a wonderful experience learning contrasting styles of play. Getting to know other coaches It’s been a wonderful experience and we’ve enjoyed our football.

Which players have impressed you so much at this tournament and why did you pick him?

SF: Lots of the players have impressed. I can’t single out any player but the talent on display has been amazing. I don’t know the names of the other players but lot of them have really impressed including (our own players) Emmanuel Toku, Eric Ayiah, Razak Yussif and Danlad Ibrahim of Ghana.

What are your chance in the semi-final match and what do you think about your opponent?

SF: We respect our opponents. Our chance of progressing to the final is very bright. We are happy they’ve qualified together with us. We played two friendlies with them as part of our preparations for this competition. We learnt a lot from them. Though We beat them in both matches We know they now know our team as we know them but a semi-final match is not the same as a friendly so we are leaving no stones unturned. So, our chances are bright. We know them and they also know so I think it will be an interesting match.

What target will you set for your team in India?

SF: To win the World Cup and enjoy playing Ghana’s brand of football.

What have you enjoyed most since you came into Gabon?

SF: The hospitality; AND warmth of the Gabonese and their appreciation of good football.

CAMARA COMMENDS SYLI CADETS

What has your experience been at the Total U-17 African Cup of Nations Gabon 2017?

SC: As young coaches, we have gained experience. I am satisfied to show my little experience at such a tournament with young players. It is a great competition has helped us learn a lot.

Which players have impressed you so much at this tournament and why did you pick him?

SC: Ghana’s number 6 player (Captain Eric Ayiah) has rare qualities. He is intelligent and very lively during the match. The Guinean player number 7 Djibril Fandje Toure is also a very player. He impresses when with the ball and is very tactical and disciplined with the ball. He is strong and drives the entire team by helping the attacking side of the team. I also pick out Mali’s number 18 Ibrahim Kane who participates a lot in his team’s attack. Mali’s number 10 Abdoul Salam Djiddou is also another dangerous player who is always mobile in the match. The Guinean number 10 Aguibou Camara is very technical and hard-hitting as he participates in the defensive and offensive game. Angola’s number Claudio Viegas is very gifted with a remarkable technique with ball on his feet.

What are your chances in the semi-final match and what do you think about your opponent?

SC: If you are to make comparisons, I have a more technical, tactical and focused team than my opponents.

My respect to the opposing team is that knowing the mobility and technicality of the team gives me a lot to think and grant the maximum concentration.

What target will you set for your team in India?

SC: Our main goal is to qualify for the quarterfinals first and progress from there.

What have you enjoyed most since you came into Gabon?

SC: The organization of the competition from the points at the airport, volunteers, security, accommodation the ambience and hospitality of the country is superb. I end my words by thanking CAF without forgetting the Guinea Football Federation which gave me the opportunity to coach the team here.

TIEMOGO POSITIVE ABOUT MENA CADETS

What has your experience been at the Total U-17 African Cup of Nations Gabon 2017?

IT: This is the first time that I led a team t to this tournament and I’m happy that as a former footballer, I have been able to contribute to the success of this team as well as the careers of these players It gives me joy that I ‘m involved with this competition.

Which players have impressed you so much at this tournament and why did you pick him?

1T: I’m impressed with so many players here but the two that has stood out for me is the Malian player who got the Total Man of the Match against us in Libreville (Lassana N’diaye) and Sofiane Habibou who scored the goal that took us to the World Cup.

What are your chances in the semi-final match and what do you think about your opponent?

IT: I think this is going to be a 50-50 match because this is competition and not a friendly match. We are not going to play Ghana with a lot of pressure and I think they are the ones that would be worried about playing us now because we are in a very high spirit after qualifying for the World Cup; we want to go a step further because we have the winning mentality.

What target will you set for your team in India?

We want to take one step after another. We would wait and see our opponents before we can talk about what we are going to do in India bu we are sure that we would give a good account of ourselves because Niger football is now on the rise.

What have you enjoyed most since you came into Gabon?

I’m personally to be here because we feel much at home; the organization of the competition was perfect and we feel so much comfortable here. It has been a wonderful experience for us and we are taking a lot of positive moments from Gabon.

KOMLA GIVES KUDOS TO ORGANISERS

What has been your experience at the Total U-African Cup of Nations Gabon 2017?

Jonas Komla(JK): First of all, I can say that during this first phase of the group matches we found that the level of the competition is high especially on the offensive level and in terms of individual quality, there are players who that have stood out. Tactically, we saw that the teams have good organization on the offensive and defensive plan.

Which players have impressed you so much at this tournament and why did you pick him?

JK: Obviously, among them there is the number 10 of Mali Abdoul Salam Ag Djiddou. He is a midfielder who guides and gives more rhythm to the Malian game. He is just the player who has impressed me most. You saw that he was voted Total Man of the Match against Niger. He has enormous potential and a good margin of progression.

What are your chances in the semi-final match and what do you think about your opponent?

JK: Mali will fight for its honours on the pitch. We never neglect any team. I have emphasized since the beginning of the tournament that the eight teams present are very good and not here by chance. Guinea has potential. We saw Guinea play. On the collective level and on the individual level, it has players who are decisive. We respect them very much. We will try to put all the strengths on our side so that the match can happen on Wednesday. We should be able to impose our football on the opponent. We will approach this game very seriously. We will not neglect any details. Guinea is a very good team.

What target will you set for your team in India?

JK: It is to honour the African continent because we will be representing Africa, then Mali. It is about putting up a good performance at the FIFA U-17 World Cup. The world is another level. This is another challenge and we must prepare for it with the utmost seriousness because we will have more time. At this level as we do not know our opponents first, we intend to go step by step. In my opinion, the playing style of the World Cup is different from that of the Total U-17 Africa Cup of Nations here in Gabon. We will do everything we can to honour Africa.

What have you enjoyed most since you came into Gabon?

JK: The assessment that I made is the good organization of the Total U-17 Africa Cup of Nations. It is very well organized especially that Gabon has just organized the Total AFCON 2017. We feel that everything is well-crafted, serious and professionalism at its best. They are to be applauded from the organization to the Gabonese authorities.

Source: Confederation Africaine de Football

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