After all is said and done, it came to one thing: give the former stars a chance to prove themselves. And for three weeks, Team Debbah went through rigorous coaching seminar recently held in Monrovia.
Among the participants were the Miracle Man, James Salinsa Debbah, Joe Nagbe, Janjay Jacobs, Kervin Sebwe, Christopher Wreh Oliver Makor, and the legend himself, George Manneh Weah.
“It was an incredible experience as these former soccer stars sat through the seminar day after day,” said an eye-witness. The coaches were CAF Elite instructors, Henry Browne and Francis Tamba, assisted by former national Coach J. Kaetu Smith.
Among the subjects discussed included the philosophy of coaching or how to turn an ordinary player into a quality footballer. “This was important because a coach must understand how to mold and impart quality knowledge into unsung players,” said an official who was at the program for all the twenty one days.
With James Debbah in the lead, the coaches asked many questions and they got answers. It was an interactive discussion as the former soccer stars posed many questions and the elite coaches provided them the required answers.
The would-be coaches, in their illustrations, identified certain situations that happened when they were actively playing abroad.
“It was a shocking experience as the former super stars who played across Europe examined the information given them,” said another eye-witness.
A member of the coaching staff told the Daily Observer yesterday, “We were impressed that these former super stars were brainstorming and drawing up their own conclusions.” He said by allowing them to manage the various national teams as coaches does not mean that all is well with Liberian football.
“At least we have begun the process and only time will show us how right our decision is,” he said, “we now have people handling the national teams who have had firsthand experience playing abroad under varied coaches and they are bringing those experiences to help those young players that they would be developing.”
That the newly appointed coaches demonstrated rigid determination for a better soccer program in Liberia was the fact that they were able to, during the early interviews conducted by the technical department of the LFA, convince officials why they are the best to lead the change that Liberian football needs presently.
“It will be unfair to declare that there will be absolute success to lour football program because we have former players as coaches,” one of the Elite coaches told the Daily Observer, “what we’re doing is we are moving in the right direction with people who can and are able to transform their experiences into our players for a better performance.”
The Daily Observer learned that the transformation of former soccer stars into firs class coaches is a process, being developed by the LFA to ensure that there is a pool of players to help the national effort.
“The LFA is impressed by the commitment of those appointed,” an official said, “and we hope the general soccer public will support the process to use former players who are able to deal with local and professional players when it is necessary.”
The general deportment of the participants, their interactive involvement and the effective manner they provided answers to why they are capable for the job, convinced the LFA that the exercise is worthy.
“We are satisfied that all the participating coaches understood the philosophy of the game,” an Elite coach said. “That is fundamental in successful coaching.”
The process now continues on December 4, at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium at 9a.m. with practical application of the knowledge so far gained.