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Former Ghana star Abedi Pele turns coach
Published : 16 Feb 2012 11:16:58
Triple African Footballer of the Year award winner Abedi 'Pele' Ayew of Ghana turns coach this weekend when Nania compete in the CAF Confederation Cup.
It will be unchartered territory for Pele and his second division side when they host Sequence FC of Guinea in the first leg of a first round tie in the second-tier continental competition.
Nania defied the odds to win the Ghana FA Cup last season, defeating Asante Kotoko 1-0 after extra time in the final after eliminating champions Berekum Chelsea at the penultimate stage.
"Winning the Cup was a great achievement," said the African star of two decades ago, whose playing career included spells at Niort, Mulhouse, Marseille, Lille and Lyon in France, Torino in Italy and 1860 Munich in Germany.
"We have conquered Ghana so now let us try and conquer Africa. This is a fresh challenge for everyone at the club. Our task is to prepare physically, mentally and tactically."
Sequence debuted in the competition last year and were not disgraced, forcing a 1-1 draw at two-time CAF titlists Africa Sports of Ivory Coast after a narrow home defeat.
Ghana dominated the first Confederation Cup -- successor to the African Cup Winners Cup and CAF Cup competitions - with Hearts of Oak defeating bitter rivals Kotoko on penalties after both legs of the 2004 final were drawn.
But no club from the west African nation has come close to matching that feat while Guinean entrants have been equally unsuccessful in a Cup won by Moghreb Fes of Morocco last year.
Union Douala of Cameroon are the biggest 'name' among the 32 first round hopefuls having won the 1979 African Champions Cup and the Cup Winners Cup two years later.
They enjoy home advantage first against Kallon FC of Sierra Leone, a club owned by former national star Mohamed Kallon, and should build a tie-winning advantage.
South African side Black Leopards, who slumped to the bottom of the South African Premiership table after a midweek loss to Orlando Pirates, host Motor Action from neighbouring Zimbabwe.
Several east African hopefuls are on the road this weekend with Simba of Tanzania visiting Kiyovu Sport of Rwanda and Gor Mahia of Kenya away to Ferroviario Maputo of Mozambique.