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New Cameroon coach vows to live up to expectations

Monday September 23 2019

New Cameroon coach Antonio Conceicao da Silva Oliveira. PHOTO | COURTESY |

New Cameroon coach Antonio Conceicao da Silva Oliveira. PHOTO | COURTESY |  

NDI EUGENE NDI
By NDI EUGENE NDI
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IN YAOUNDE

António Conceiçao da Silva Oliveira has thanked the Cameroonian government for giving him the opportunity to be head coach of the country’s national football team, pledging he will live up to expectations.

“I know it a great responsibility coaching the Indomitable Lions. I will do my best to produce the expected results,” the appointed coach of the five times African champions said as he visited the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium in Yaounde on Sunday.

Known as Toni Conceiçao, the 57-year-old was appointed on Friday for an undisclosed period of time. The Sports ministry release announcing his appointment did not also state how much he will receive as pay.

The former Portuguese right back, who most recently managed Romanian side CFR Cluj, succeeds Dutchman Clarence Seedorf who was fired from the post in July following the Indomitable Lions' disappointing early exit from the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Toni will be assisted by former Cameroon national team forward Francois Omam Biyik, who featured in three World Cups (1990, 1994 and 1998), while former Indomitable Lions goalie Jacques Songo'o will serve as the goalkeepers trainer.

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Toni, who has not been at the helm of a club for more than a year in the past decade, has no coaching experience in Africa and Cameroon will be his first national team job.

Expectations were rife among local football fans in the country that the government was going to recruit a local coach since the sacking of Seedorf.

Sports writers and analysts in the country have also expressed frustration over the choice of the new coach whom they describe as a ‘Toni Nobody’ in coaching.

“He (Toni Conceiçao) is not noted anywhere to be a very successful coach and the kind of coach that is fit into the Cameroon national selection,” said Angu Lesly, Managing Editor of kick442.com.

Angu noted that Cameroonians have not been so excited since the announcement of Toni’s appointment on Friday.

“This means Cameroonians will not also expect much from him,” he said.

“I don’t think Conceincao is the man to carry Cameroon and pressure that Cameroon brings come 2021,” Angu intimated.

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