–The LFA needs the services of a man with the most impressive record as a coach
There is no argument that despite the successful training of several Liberian soccer coaches to acquire Confederation of African Football (CAF) licenses since Musa Bility became president of the Liberia Football Association, coaches are yet to show their juice in Africa’s regional and continental tournaments.
Presently, many Liberian soccer coaches have acquired CAF License ‘B’ and ‘A,’ qualifying them to even venture their trade elsewhere in Africa. But how far are they faring with local clubs?
Just the other day, Coach Cooper Sannah was fired by Barrack Young Controllers because of two inglorious defeats. And quite recently, BYC’s coaches could not come up with a strategy to win in two CAF competitions.
Even the national soccer team, Lone Star, has suffered from serious underperformance by national team coaches when the team needed a ‘miracle’ to claim respect at home.
While our coaches are found wanting it seems that they lack some elements of creative coaching that could help transform the rusty skills of potential players, one man who has the ability to develop and make miracles happen, and deliver impressive records, has been sadly forgotten.
Coach Eric C. Thompson is known popularly in soccer circles as Coach Christian Cole, who, with all due respect, has more successes as a manager than any soccer coach in Liberia, according to available records at the Daily Observer.
Coach Cole was among the first 17 soccer coaches that earned their CAF Equivalent License ‘B’ Certificates, held from October 16-21, 2012.
The course was supervised by Ghanaian CAF Instructor, Fred Osam Duodu, now deceased. The participants in that seminar included Mr. Francis A. Tamba, who is now CAF Education Officer; Mr. Henry N. Browne, who is now Technical Director at the Liberia Football Association; and Frank Jericho Nagbe Sr., who has handled the national soccer team for a number of occasions.
Others included Kelvin Sebwe, Beauford O. Weeks, Joe Nagbe, Alexander Freeman (Cheneken of IE fame), D. Vava George, G. Boniface Manning, Thomas Kojo, and Deputy LFA Technical Director J. Kaetu Smith, among others.
Mr. Cole is the most successful among the lot and his ability to turn defeats into successes is remarkable. To name a few, he led Grand Bassa to win the 2015-2016 County Meet Trophy and took Watanga FC to the first division (2012-2013). In 2009-2010 he led Mighty Barrolle to win the then Premier League. He was the three-time winner with Mighty Barrolle in the Premier League from 2001, 2006 and 2009, among other victories.
Among many honors, the former Secretary General of the LFA, B. Alphonso Armah (of blessed memory), attested in a letter dated March 27, 2013, when Coach Eric Thompson won the Premier League Championship three times with Mighty Barrolle in 2001, 2006 and 2009, that he should be named Coach of the Year 2013.
With LFA’s own affirmation of Coach Thompson’s impressive career, it is difficult to understand why this man is not in charge of any of the national soccer teams. In fact in 2001, Coach Thompson was selected by the LFA as its Coach of The Year. Coach Thompson’s impressive achievements should be enough to convince the LFA to get him to join its technical department.
It is just fair for the LFA to use the experience and knowledge of the most celebrated and successful soccer coach that Liberia can boast of now: Eric C. Thompson (aka Christian Cole).