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Soccer News of Tuesday, 5 September 2006

Source: William Ezah, GNA Sports Desk

Could Le Roy be lucky this time?

Accra, Sept. 5, GNA 96 Frenchman Claude Le Roy is among the three coaches selected for interview by the Ghana Football Association (GFA) on Wednesday, as the search for a successor to Serbian Ratomir Djukovic continues.

Le Roy, who has been a consistent chaser of the job for many years will be seeking to grab the job this time around to fulfill his long cherished dream; coaching the Black Stars of Ghana, a job he appears to be so mad about.

From all indications, the Frenchman remains one of the favorites for the hot seat after he was short listed from over 50 applicants and will be in competition with local coach, Sir Cecil Jones Attuquayefio and a compatriot, Philip Troussier.

Le Roy's capabilities as well as his curriculum vitae are unquestionable and he looks suitable for the job and no definite reason could be assigned for his consistent failure to secure it in the past. The question is? Could he be lucky this time around, having passed the rigorous 91due diligence' conducted by the nine member committee of the GFA charged with the reasonability of looking for a suitable replacement for Serbian, Ratomir 91Doya' Dujkovic. To many, the former coach of DR Congo has nothing to offer because he has been on the continent for too long and has achieved all that there is to achieve.

Known as the man with the lion heart, the French man's first stint in Africa was with Cameroon in 1986 where he supervised the team to the finals of that year's edition of the Nations Cup but lost on penalties to Egypt. He however made amends two years later when he led Cameroon to win the trophy.

Le Roy returned ten years later to supervise the campaign of the team to the 1998 World Cup. Though they qualified for the Mundial, the team could not move beyond the league stage.

In between his stay at Cameroon, he took over the Senegalese national team but failed to achieve the desired results for the West African country, as they could only manage a quarter final berth in the Nations Cup. He went through the same experience with Dr Congo where their dream of making a second appearance at the World Cup in 2006 was battered by the country he is now dreaming to coach.

Though he was personally appointed by the President of the war ravaged country, he had to part ways with them after failing to get them the desired results. But the French tactician has no intentions of leaving the continent hence his decision to shift his attention to Ghana.

Le Roy also had some club side football where he handled the technical affairs of Al- Shabah of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Strasbourg of French Ligue One and Chinese Second division side Shangai Cosco.

Taking over the Ghana job seems more daunting because he will be handed the responsibility of improving upon the standard set by Ghana at the last FIFA World Cup in Germany, where the Black Stars exhibited what has now been known as 93power soccer=94 to get to the second round after remarkable victories over Czech Republic and USA. The 58 year old FIFA instructor will also have to shepherd Ghana to win the 2008 Nations Cup to be hosted by Ghana. Nothing short of the above will lead Le Roy to the alter to be sacrificed. Bbut trust the Frenchman to succeed as he had indicated in an interview 93I'm used to dealing with extremes.=94

Le Roy has a vast knowledge of the African terrain, just like his competitors and he understands the dynamics of the African system of play as well as the mentality of African players.

Le Roy is also aware of the talents at the disposal of the nation, having been on the continent for many years.

Should he be successful at the interview and take over the job, then the whole world would have to wait and see what he has been hiding up his sleeves for Ghana all these years. But if he fails to secure the job this time, then he should consider his dream of handling Ghana a mirage. 05 Sept. 06

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