Yalla Kora Dialogue.. An Egyptian coach leads the "Algeria national team"

Yalla Kora Dialogue.. An Egyptian coach leads the “Algeria national team”

The Egyptian Mohamed Al-Assal did not think of returning to the training work again during the current period, content with his work as a sports director for several clubs in Finland, where he resides, and some clubs in a neighboring country, but because of his fondness for training and previous experience as a technical director of youth teams in the same country, A representative of the Algerian community and the embassy asked him to take over the task of training the team representing their country in the African Championship for Communities in Helsinki – or as it is known as the African Championship for Locals in Europe -; Each edition is held in a different country.

It is an offer that the 41-year-old would not have rejected, if he led the team in a friendly match a week before the start of the tournament, to find that he lacked several positions, so he used a Palestinian goalkeeper, an Iraqi wing, a player from Ghana and another from Yemen; He explains to the Yalla Koura editor: “The rules allow us to do so, but there must be a number of players from the country being represented, in addition to the team being run by one of the people in charge of the country’s community.”

The team representing the Algerian community signed in the second group, accompanied by the teams: Nigeria, Tunisia, Liberia, to lead the group with 7 points from two victories and a draw: “The matches were difficult and I tried to help them mentally and physically in addition to my technical work. I managed to study our strengths and weaknesses and we won 3-1 and then we beat Nigeria in the next match to top the group.”

The coach, who sees in the German Juergen Klopp, who followed him when he was coach of the Borussia Dortmund team in his country, as a role model for him in the training field, concluded an agreement with his counterpart in the Nigeria national team, since their two teams guaranteed promotion to the next round: “I asked him to play a clean game without pressure to save the effort.” Especially since we qualified, but I found treachery from him, which I expected, and the match ended in a goalless draw. We topped and they came in second.”

It is a meeting that he met another in the same round that brought Senegal, which includes players from West African countries as well, with his Moroccan counterpart to win the first and set a date against his Algerian counterpart in a match that the Egyptian coach saw as revenge for his country, which was defeated twice by Senegal this year, one of them in the Cup final. Nations of Africa and the other in the decisive round of the World Cup qualifiers to crown his efforts by winning and facing Nigeria – the only team in the tournament that does not include a citizen of another nationality – in the final to be crowned under the flag of Algeria with the title after winning a double against a goal.

Al-Assal does not see that his feeling if he won the championship under the Egyptian flag would have been very different: “It is a sport in the beginning and the end, and we are all brothers in Arabism and blood. I hope that the final will be Algerian, Moroccan or Tunisian”, but this does not deny his desire to have a team present in the tournament bearing the flag of his country, but he only found three Egyptian players, one of whom is his son.

In the end, the youth team player in Mansoura Club – his city in which he grew up – sees that the tournament was a refresher for him as a coach after he turned to management and development work: “My job as a sports director means that I may be the temporary alternative to the absence of the coach, so I have to be ready all the time, but in general training It is no longer the goal for me, but rather to help the trainers and work on their development, and by the way, I am a lecturer in one of the academies in planning sciences, which is an Egyptian-Finnish academy.”

The Egyptian who grew up in Saudi Arabia; Due to his family’s work there, as he used to play football in the streets of Jeddah and face some friendly teams there, such as the Jeddah Union. After high school, he returned to Mansoura; He was playing football in the 6th of October neighborhood there, which included a group of football fields, to draw the attention of the General Secretary of Mansoura Club, Sameh Wahba, who asked him to join the club’s ranks.

The young man eventually joined the ranks of the Mansoura Club; He trained with him and then suffered an injury, but the university coordination came to announce that he had to go to Damietta Governorate to enroll in the Faculty of Science and stay away from the ball until he traveled to Estonia in 2007: “I traveled for a walk and I was jogging next to one of the stadiums, and there were two teams preparing to play ball and they were missing a player. They asked if I wanted to play with them, and I agreed, and I was afraid that my foot injury would be affected, and after the match, someone suggested if I wanted to play the ball in a second division team.”

Here, the Egyptian young man’s journey turned from hiking to work to join the Kuressaari team, which is currently active in the Premier League, and he stayed for a year before Al-Assal, who at the time owned a company in Egypt, decided to return to his country to try to implement what he had seen in the Estonian League. He had with him in the club the son of the president of the Football Association in Estonia to accompany him on more than one trip in Europe to learn the rules of playing football, so he ended his partnership and established at the end of 2008 an academy in Mansoura bearing the name (Mama Africa): “I signed an agreement with Mansoura Stadium and rented the sub stadium and I wanted to I will be a station to discover African and Egyptian talents for Europe.” He points out that Mansoura only included his academy and my academy for Al-Ahly and Zamalek at the time.

Al-Assal was able to market more than one player in his academy for the second and third divisions in Egypt until the activity stopped in 2011, which later forced him to close the academy: “I was paying salaries for 6 months after the revolution, and there was no other income for me. At (ABS) club, I studied football analysis via the Internet in European universities, and by the way, I am still a consultant for this club, which plays in the second division, after I was an administrator in the first team and an assistant coach, and I worked for two hours in (STOR) the club until I get a good salary.”

With time, club officials integrated the young Egyptian coach into their technical plan and began to obtain training licenses, so he obtained licenses C and B. Then he ascended to the club’s youth team from the second division to the first in the 2014/2015 season and began looking at how to develop the Finnish player and thought that it was better to go through winter courses In order to improve his physical and fitness rate, the club will have a futsal team, which he supervised, to receive an offer in the next season from the Finnish futsal champion, the Golden futsal team, to supervise the youth sector in it, in addition to his work as technical director of the youth football team in the club; The club included a number of players for the Finnish national futsal team.

But he soon left for the ranks of the IBK club after a season, so he prepared a development plan for him before he asked a group of Arabs and Kurds in Finland to consult him in establishing a sports club for them, to lead his passion to develop sports and development plans for clubs in Finland, so he worked as a director of development in 2018 at the club ( HIFK) before being sold to a Chinese investor for €2 million to work as a freelancer.

During this trip, Al-Assal won the award for the best coach in Finland in the 2016-2017 season, in addition to winning the Finland U-21 Championship in the 2016-2017 season, after he was the runner-up for the 2015-2016 edition, the Southern Region Youth Championship in the 2015-2016 season, and runner-up for the 2015-2016 edition.

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