Understanding the Modus Operandi of Cameroon’s Best Football Club
Fans of Coton Sport of Garoua have become familiar with losing their star players at the end of every season.
And although, the vacuum they leave behind is filled almost immediately, the tradition has attracted mixed reactions.
Some of these players both nationals and foreigners tend to leave for greener pastures either on the continent or in Europe without exerting any serious influence or signs of hitting peak form to some.
Like the previous years, Coton Sport is about unveiling its new recruits ahead of the 2021/2022 season. Some of the players who played pivotal roles in their run up to the semi-final of last season’s CAF Confederation Cup and Elite One championship title playoff have left the club.
The massive influx and departure of players doesn’t seem to end anytime soon within the club.
Based in Garoua, capital of the northern region, Coton Sport are the most titled Cameroonian club with a record fifteen (15) trophies. The remarkable feat is garnished with six Cup of Cameroon trophies won between 2003 and 2014.
They are arguably miles ahead of their domestic rivals and are always credible challengers to push for trophies at the start of each season.
“Coton Sport happens to be one of those clubs in Cameroon that imports and exports players which is a giant step for them,” sport writer Afeseh Apong who has been covering the team told Volcanicsport.
“Coton Sport has always had foreigners in their team. When you bring in some of these players who have ambition, they always see the need to show their worth with the club and at the end of their contract they go for greener pasture,” he added.
The need to fortify the team comes with its own benefits. Besides signing players in bulk, the club makes huge benefits by selling ripe stars. Officials of the club are ambitious. While they seek to excel at both national and continental scene with their new recruits, they also fill up their reservoir.
“It boils down to the club’s philosophy. As a football institution, you need to make revenue from the sale of players and that is what keeps clubs going,” Afeseh argued.
“Coton Sport going in for players is part of their ambition. They want to win trophies. They also need to export talents to make revenue to the club. It is with that revenue that they use to recruit more players to compete in the upcoming campaign.”
Besides purchasing new players, Coton Sport have a flourishing academy from where they also tap youngsters. Many of such youngsters gain promotion to the first team over time. Perhaps that explains their constant dominance in the Cameroon football landscape. Only few clubs can measure up to their financial strength.
Coton Sport of Garoua have been able to lure international players to the Roumde Adjia stadium severally.
Some include Chad’s Marius Mouandilmadji who finished top scorer with the club in 2018 with 24 goals in 18 games.
After enjoying a memorable season with Coton Sport, Marius, 23, signed a four-year deal with FC Porto. He is now on the books of Belgian club RFC Seraing.
Another star is Nigerien footballer Daouda Kamilou. He has an incredible goal scoring record with Coton Sport since he joined in 2005 from Akokana FC.
There is also Burkina Faso international Arnaud Sibiri Sanou who has been very influential since joining the club. Two other prominent signings include Togolese duo, keeper Bassa Jerry and Serge Seuko.
Afeseh Apong argues that importation and exportation of players benefit Coton Sport. Rarely have they struggled due to the departure of instrumental players at the end of a campaign. Scouted players often easily fit in positions deserted by itinerant ones.
The New recruits
Coton Sport of Garoua will unveil their new recruits ahead of their participation in this season’s CAF Confederation Cup in the coming weeks.
There are eleven (11) of them. There is Togolese duo Koudeka Madje Cofie and Madougou Bastou-Abdou who have both been handed two-year contracts. Next on the line is Congolese born Pavela Bothe Okelle who also penned a two-year deal with the club. Niger’s Sidibe Assouma joins his compatriot Daouda Kamilou on a two-year deal while Cameroon’s Otanga Mvou Glid signed from Equatorial Guinea club Akonangui.
David Lee Kokolome signed a one-year deal from Panthere, as well as AS Fortuna duo Lionel Christian Mbida (two years) and Louis Tazoh (one year). Another newcomer is Che Malone who joins from Union of Douala.
The new recruits will replace Thierry Tchuente, Lambert Nguime Araina and a host of others who have left the club. Players like Arnaud Sibiri and Felix Oukine could also leave. They have been heavily linked with moves to Tanzania and France respectively.
By Beng Emmanuel