The gaffer’s are always on the hot sit, and when a team is letting fans down, the fans find a way to twist and turn those blames back to the coaches. Africa’s Continental Jamboree has produced two of the very best conductors (coaches), when it concerns the beautiful game in the continent. Exports of coaches would do their bit but are there many who would know the African style more than local coaches? The AFCON records prove otherwise.

Charles Gyamfi ; On the 4th of December, 1929; on to Ghana a son was sent from above. Charles was a good user of the ball himself. He dazzled the Ghanaian public, reminiscent to his flamboyant skill was the fact that he was the first to Ghanaian to apply his art in Germany, Fortuna Dussedorf to be precised. It is quite astonishing how Gyamfi adapted to being the man at the helm for Ghana. The records are clear with the before and after of his Coaching Career with the national team.

Ghana lays claim to 4 AFCON’S and Charles Gyamfi was the man at the helm for three of those. The Solomon of Ghanaian football as he is popularly called, took home the trophy back-to-back in 1963 and 1965, before coming back in 1982 to get himself immortalized in the African game. The gaffer passed on in 2015 in Accra, Ghana but his legacy lives on.

Hassan Shehata took over what was already one of the best African football teams, but he came in when the “Pharaoh’s” were on the decline and needed a lift. The man popularly referred to as “the master” was born in 1949, and as a footballer he has an enviable C.V of his own. Talk about hitting the ground running! The tactician took over a team going down the slippery slope from Italian Coach Marco Tardelli, a fine gentleman himself, but Shehata made rapid impact with the triumph of the AFCON 2006 in their own backyard. The Egyptians literally took African football into their spell, it was as though a magic wand was used on the rest of the continent. Egypt went on to win the 2006, 2008 and 2010 AFCON successfully, causing Shehata to equal Gwamfi’s record of three AFCON’S, and the Egyptian did that in style; winning it three times in a spin.

Out of 16 teams in Gabon, just 4 countries came along with local coaches; Cisse, a former captain of the Terranga Lions, Congo took along Florent Ibenge the CHAN 2016 winner, Guinea Bissau traveled with coach Basiro Cande while Zimbabwe took Calisto Patuwa.

Facts and numbers don’t lie. These two have thrived in the game, and they came in unannounced but left the stage when their names were right up there. Africans should definitely take the gamble and give more African coaches some time. As a reminder 13 Local coaches have won the edition before.

Giovanni Wanneh.