By Angu Lesley
Football Writer, kick442.com-Cameroon
Forget about his exploits in the title winning 2012 season when he was deputy to Bonaventure Djonkep at Union Sportive of Douala. Ignore his role in preparation of UMS of Loum for their first league title in 2016 or even his wonderful run to becoming champion of Cameroon with Eding Sport de la Lekie in 2017.
41-year-old Andre Anicet Mbarga Foe has once again proved to be one of the best football manager and trainer in Cameroon.
The former New Stars of Douala gaffer surprised pundits in the build up to the current campaign.
His decision to switch to an side Astres that had an uncertain future looked strange to many. Especially because he had just guided Bamboutos FC of Mbouda to the Elite One championship and played a part to help Burundi qualify for their first AFCON.
The 2017 Cameroon manager of the year didn’t have it all his way at the start. Astres were controversially relegated to the second tier Championship prompting the commencement of a legal battle with huge psychological bearings on his team.
Against the expectations of many, the gaffer opted stay at the club.
The club’s litigation battles and multiple attempts to regain their top flight status didn’t help the gaffer. Three league two games into the new season, top management of the club stopped their club from participating in the championship. Things went dead for a month restricting the players to just training sessions without competitive football.
Astres only returned after they had certain pre-conditions from the league management body.
When the president Alim Konate of the Transitional Technical Committee in charge of the Cameroon Elite One and Two championships pronounced that Astres will be reinstated in league one at the end of the season irrespective of their results, many pundits raised questions about the decision and the decision to make it public at the time.
Some went as far as stating that Astres of Douala will go into match fixing and why not make cash from their games knowing that their promotion didn’t depend on their performance.
In the midst of this controversy, Anicet Mbarga Foe declared to kick442.com that as long as he remains coach of the club, his players commitment and his will never be tempered with.
From the day of this declaration, Astres became a new side in the championship. Their desire to win improved and they swept neutrals off their feets en route to the topflight.
The club suffered just one defeat against OFTA in a run of 16 games earning them promotion on the pitch. They are 12 points away from fourth spot OFTA of Kribi with two games left.
At the end of the day, the players and the backroom staff of Astres may take the credit for this super achievement,
but Anicet Mbarga is one person who deserves more.
He should be a serious contender for the Cameroon Elite Two coach of the year.
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