The summer transfer window is about to open. And most of the attention will be focused on the players. But it will also be important to keep a close eye on what happens on the African bench in the coming weeks, with coaches likely to be on the move.
The season has not yet come to an end in all African countries, but for those who have decided to prolong the pleasure, the end is nigh. And, as is the case every year, there will be movement, not only in the ranks but also on the bench. A number of foreign coaches, most of them European, will not necessarily be staying where they are in 2022-2023. Others have opted for continuity. On the other hand, some are considering the next step in their careers, and are discussing the matter with their managers.
There are also clubs that have decided to change their coaching staff at the end of the season. Raja Casablanca, 6th in the Moroccan league, have decided to part company with Tunisian coach Mondher Kebaier. He has been replaced by German Josef Zinnbauer (53). A former midfielder with Mainz and Karlsruhe, he has also coached Hamburg SV (Germany) and FC St. Gallen (Switzerland). He also coached Orlando Pirates (South Africa) and Lokomotiv Moscow (Russia). In Algeria, Patrice Beaumelle (45), who signed for Mouloudia Club d’Alger during the season, is not yet certain of extending his contract. His team currently lie third in the table after 25 matches. The Frenchman is due to take stock of the situation with his managers shortly.
Folz leaves AmaZulu FC
The same is true of Alexandre Lafitte. The 25-year-old French coach was appointed to Stade d’Abidjan. He has succeeded in his mission, with his team in 8th place in the Côte d’Ivoire league table ahead of the final matchday. His management, who are keen to keep him on, are aware that Lafitte has been approached by Gagnoa and Bouaké. A European Ligue 2 club has also made enquiries. The former assistant coach at FC Gueugnon (France, National 3) is due to meet his chairman again soon, but the trend is towards an extension.
In Congo, Julien Mette (41), who recently led AS Otôho to the league title, is also in talks with his management. Their position is clear: Mette is seen as the man for the job. His employers want to give him full sporting powers, particularly in terms of recruitment. The former Djibouti coach, who is due to return to Europe on Sunday 11 May after the end of the Congolese championship, had planned to hold talks with his chairman before boarding the plane.
Carteron back in Africa
On the other hand, Romain Folz (32) will no longer be the coach of South African club AmaZulu, whom he joined last October. However, the former coach of Tonwnship Rollers (Botswana), Ashanti Gold (Ghana) and Marumo Gallants (South Africa) had been tipped to extend his contract for another three years. Folz, who is spending a few days holiday in Spain, had a telephone conversation with his management. The latter informed him of his intention not to continue with the Usuthu. His next destination should be known by the end of June.
Other coaches who have already worked in Africa could return. This is the case of Frenchman Patrice Carteron (52), who has been free since leaving Ettifaq FC (Saudi Arabia) in March. The former coach of Mali, TP Mazembe (DR Congo), Raja Casablanca (Morocco) and Zamalek, Wadi Degla and Al-Ahly (Egypt) enjoys a certain popularity in the Maghreb. Particularly in Algeria, where his name comes up regularly.
The same is true of Franck Dumas (55), sacked last November by TP Mazembe (DRC). Denis Lavagne (58) has reached an agreement to extend his contract with Al Jabalain (Saudi Arabia) by a further season, but not all the details have been worked out. Lavagne, who has coached in a number of countries (Cameroon, South Africa, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Sudan), could return to a continent he knows well if he does not continue his adventure in the Persian Gulf.