By Muambo Edward
Football Writer, kick442.com -Cameroon
Algerian coach Boualem Mankour has signed a-two-year deal as the new coach of the Mauritius national team.
The 49-year-old Algerian has a rich coaching experience on the continent. He has coached DR Congo’s Saint-Eloi Lupopo, Morocco’s KAC Kenitra and AS Gabès from Tunisia.
He is in his first job as senior national team coach of an African country. His only previous national team job was with the U-17 national team of the DR Congo from 2014-2015.
Boualem’s mission will be to rejuvenate the Mauritius national team which has already been eliminated from the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
“I will start by watching some games, talk with coaches, clubs, the players in selection,” Boualem said at the end of a meeting with the Mauritius Sports Minister on Tuesday.
“We will look for new talents – as the future is with the youth – as we start to prepare for the next two years but we already have two games against Djibouti at the end of March.
“There were some errors in the past and ‘Club M’ (the Mauritius national team) must have a Mauritian identity. Of course, we will need the expats, who bring some level, but we must look at the local players.”
South Africa’s Zunaid Mall, a Confederation of African Football instructor, was also brought in to work as head of development.
Stephan Toussaint, the Mauritius Sports Minister held a meeting with Boualem and Zunaid on Tuesday, in the presence of the country’s FA President.
“I describe the meeting as very cordial and very fruitful,” Toussaint said.
“This is a way of working, in synergy and communication with those concerned, for the betterment of our football.”
According to last month’s FIFA rankings, Mauritius are ranked 172nd out of 210 countries.
Mauritius has only participated in one previous Africa Cup of Nations, that was in 1974. They finished bottom of their group.
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