From Thailand to Liberia

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I hope my country can allow me to use my wealth of experience to contribute to rescue the fading soccer image of our country. What I have just said may surprise the reader, but let me explain what I mean.

I am a Liberian international soccer coach presently serving as Assistant Technical Advisor to RBAC Football Club of Ais-RL, a divisional club side in Bangkok, Thailand, in Asia. I have been involved in coaching since 1984, when I promoted Sinkor Defenders FC to the first division of the Liberia Football Association League.

I played for Great Bame FC as captain in Buchanan from 1975-76; Hassan Invaders FC of Bong Mines from 1976-77 as captain; and in 1978 was field captain for Mighty Sparrow FC of Margibi County.

From 1979-84, I was a member of Mighty Barrolle and we won the LFA Champion League twice before being called to the national soccer team, Lone Star. Later, I returned to coach Sinkor Defenders FC from 1984-85 and promoted the team to the first division.

Coaching Experience
I was the head-coach of FDA-Foresters FC from 1986-1990 and later went to Ghana as a result of the civil war and coached Awutu Kotoko FC, a 3rd division team in Ghana from 1991-95. I then moved on to Cotonou, Benin, and managed Requins FC in the first division in 1996 and returned to Ghana as head coach of All Blacks FC in 1997, promoting the team to the Premier League.

An attractive offer from Nigeria sent me to manage Udoji United FC as assistant coach from 1998-2000, but then the Ghanaians would not leave me in peace; by the following year, 2001, I assumed the mantle as the head coach of division two side, Fernstars FC. Then struggling Ghanaian side Odupon Heroes FC heard of me and they came calling; and I responded to rescue their dwindling fortunes and stabilized the team in division one from 2002-2003.

Though I was still seeking adventure, I realized that my country would need me and so I returned to Liberia to manage Mighty Barrolle for the 2004-2005 seasons, and won the national championship at the time Liberia was experimenting with the Premier League.

International Coaching
Adventure once more came calling and David Nimely was on his way, this time, to Asia and ended in Thailand, where I first managed FC Pattanakarn as head coach in the third division from 2011-2012. My success with the team sent many soccer owners in that country after me.

And I did not let them down as I jumped on available opportunities and managed Vakger FC, G.K FC; Wanta FC Academy; Dan-Tog-Sadao High School (as technical director); Tawanna FC Academy; and finally ended up with RBAC Football Club.

Presently, as I said earlier, I am the Assistant and Technical Advisor to RBAC Football Club and though my contract with the team expires in October this year, I have the option to renew it in November to begin the Thailand National League. I have followed Liberian football activities and the struggle that the national team had been going through and therefore when I came home to bury my father, I thought I should let Liberian football authorities know that I am here to help. But there is a problem.

But before revealing the problem let me recount my coaching education here. I hold DFB A License, an international soccer coaching certificate from Germany (2014). I hold an advance coaching certificate from Ghana’s National Sports College (2003) and another from Ghana’s National Sports Council & Ministry of Sports Certificate in basic soccer coaching course held in Accra, Ghana in 1995.

I also hold the International Olympic Committee/FIFA/ANOCA certificate in coaching, a technical course certificate held in Liberia in 2007. I earned a certificate from the famous Winneba Sports College of Ghana held in 1997. I am a member of the United States National Soccer Coaches Association.

Honors
In 2004, I received a certificate of honor from the Mighty Barrolle Sports Association for winning the FA Championship in 2004 and was subsequently appointed as the Deputy National Coach of the national soccer team, Lone Star, by the Ministry of Youth & Sports from 2006-2007.

I was also appointed as Deputy Coach of the U-23 national soccer team from 2006-2007 by the Ministry of Youth & Sports.

Upon my arrival in Liberia on June 16, 2016, I sent two letters to LFA President Musa Bility and Youth & Sports Minister Saa Charles N’tow about my desire to work with the national team though none has replied me. However, the Liberia Football Association has told me that despite my impressive coaching career, I will need to sit for CAF License B otherwise I have no chance to coach in the country. I am told that it is a CAF requirement. But I believe that CAF’s requirement for me to sit for a License B is below my standard and therefore if the LFA does not give me the opportunity to serve my country, I may return to Thailand and I will thank Liberia for at least knowing about me and my request to serve the country – that did not materialized – that set me off to follow my career in soccer.

Editor’s Note
When CAF Education Officer Francis Tamba at the Liberia Football Association was contacted yesterday, he said the Confederation of African Football’s Licensing System was first announced in 2007, at a time when he was in Europe.

“It was not until 2009-10 that CAF made it mandatory for every coach to be licensed to be able to coach on the continent. I was the head coach of Lone Star and Coach Nimely was my deputy, but I had to undergo the training until later, I along with Brown and Smith were promoted to become CAF Assessors,” he said. “We want Coach Nimely to succeed in his career and I personally even advised him when he was in Asia to return home to acquire any of the CAF licenses otherwise he would be wasting much of his time.”

Meanwhile, Coach Henry Brown, the current LFA technical director, said he went through the training to acquire CAF License A before he was finally made CAF Assessor, along with Coach Tamba and Coach Kaetu Smith.

“All of us went through it and Coach Nimely should understand that no one is obstructing his career as a coach,” Brown told the Daily Observer yesterday. “We held a lengthy discussion with Coach Nimely on the issue and we encouraged him to go through it and he accepted it.

We are surprised that he makes it to appear that somebody does not want him to succeed.”

CAF Assessor Smith said it is important for Coach Nimely to know that CAF now wants anyone who coaches on the continent to have its license, which is above any national association or federation’s accreditation that he possesses at the moment.

“During our meeting with Coach Nimely he reasoned with the position of CAF, but he (now) makes it to appear that the LFA is undermining his efforts, which are not true,” Smith said.

Smith, Brown and Tamba were recently promoted by CAF as Coaching Assessors and they are routinely requested by CAF to assess new coaches for any of its licenses (D, B and A) in West Africa. The three men are currently hosting CAF License D and B courses for prospective coaches.

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