By Angu Lesley
Former Indomitable Lions of Cameroon coach Antonio Conceicao Da Silva who was sacked in February has been linked to the vacant head coach role of the Elephants of Ivory Coast.
Reports emerging from the West African nation have it that Ivorian football authorities especially those at the football federation have made contact with the Portuguese in an attempt to hire him as replacement for Frenchman Patrice Beaumelle who was laid off last month.
Per sources, if the federation’s wish is granted Conceiçao who helped Cameroon to a third place finish at AFCON 2021 could be hired to replace Beaumelle who wasn’t given a new contract after he failed to stir the Elephants to the 2022 FIFA World Cup and exited AFCON 2021 in the round of 16.
Conceiçao replaced Clarence Seedorf as Cameroon’s coach in September 2019 and guided the Lions to real progress in his two and half years in charge, losing just two of 24 games.
The ex-CFR Cluj trainer in his first job in Africa has displayed glimpses of his managerial brilliance especially against relatively stronger oppositions like Tunisia, Nigeria, Japan and even the against the Elephants of Ivory Coast during the 2022 FIFA World cup qualifiers. Taking over Elephants of Ivory Coast job coach will provide a chance for him to continue where he stopped with Cameroon.
Toni was capped once for Portugal in an 11 years playing career across 3 clubs in his native land. He had two separate spells each on the books of Portuguese giants FC Porto and SC Braga.
The Portuguese retired from Professional Football and switched into coaching in 1999 as trainer of SC Braga’s feeder team.
He spent 3 years with the reserves of SC Braga before picking up his first senior team coaching job in 2003 after he was named interim coach of SC Braga’s first team.
That same year he switched to Naval Primero de Maio where he spent another year.
Remarkably, he has gone on to serve as coach for 12 other clubs amongst which include Portuguese sides Vitoria Setubal,Trofense, Belenenses enjoying lower division successes especially in promoting three of his first four clubs to with the exception of Vitoria de Setubal.
In the 2009 season, he joined Romanian giants CFR Cluj and enjoyed his best stint as a coach at the club. Toni won the first of two Romanian Cup for the club and the Super Cup before returning to Portugal to coach Belenenses in 2010.
After three difficult months at Os Belenenses suffering top level relegation, Conceição returned to Romania, where he coached SR Braşov and FC Astra Ploiești.
In October 2012,he returned Braga B and guided the club in the second tier Championship second tier before leaving for another second tier side Moreirense F.C in 2014.
Conceicao returned to CFR Cluj in 2015 and won his second Romanian Cup title for the club in May 2016.
The trainer moved to Cyprus in 2017 where he worked for top flight side Nea Salamina but returned to Portugal few weeks later to manage second tier side Penafiel.
He was at CFR Cluj in his third spell last season but was sacked before the end of the season.
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