After AMANI coach Yao César Lambert, Baky KONÉ, President of the Football Section of ASEC Mimosas, gave us an interview. His feelings about the season, the recent decision of the CAF cancelling the participation of the club in the next Confederation Cup, the impact of the fans, the case AGBÉGNIADAN Komlan, the package of CISSÉ Abdoul Karim at the CAN, the appointment of the new coach are all topics that have been addressed by the President of the Football Section. interview…

The club, as a whole, had no respite

How do you feel about the 2018-2019 season that has just ended?

It’s been a long, difficult and trying season for us. We worked 21 months and went on for two seasons without interruption. The club, as a whole, had no respite. This was very detrimental for the group which has experienced a succession of injuries and therefore results in sawtooth. The results of the season are negative in view of all the results. But since we never lose, we learned a lot from this exercise. Others before me have experienced this kind of situation. I knew her as a footballer and I now know her as a leader. It often takes this kind of situation to make us aware of the enormity of the work to be done. 

The season was a failure, but ASEC Mimosas managed to get 3rd place in the Ligue 1 standings. Initially qualifying for the Confederation Cup, it would no longer be so according to a circular received recently by the CAF. How did this information get in?

We were very surprised by the note we received from the FCA on June 3, 2019. We have asked the FCA for clarification and are waiting for them. If it turns out that we are not participating in the African competition next season, it will be a great disappointment for the club which has, over the last few years, shown great regularity. We will get back to work to win the Ligue 1 and qualify directly for the next Champions League.

Is the season to be forgotten soon?  

You never forget anything. The club works every season to achieve its goals. But there are facts that we do not control that often upset the forecasts. Unfortunately, this season is an example of this. But we are already working to put together a competitive team to put all the chances on our side next season.

Our promoted young people have shown that they have many qualities

Did last season’s recruits give you satisfaction?

It was noted that the collective record was a failure. I will do an individual review with each player.

What is your view on the reserve team’s youth season promoted to the first team?

I would like to take this opportunity to salute all the work that is being done in the reserve team and at the MimoSifcom Academy. Our promoted youngsters have shown that they have a lot of qualities and that they have to be patient with them, give them the opportunity to work quietly to have game time. Players like BANCÉ Ibrahim and TAPSOBA Abdoul Fessal were the big revelations of the season. Overall, these young people brought a little freshness and dynamism to the team. Unfortunately, two or three of them were injured. But we hope to get them back next season.

What was missing for this team to achieve a great season compared to the previous one?

We lacked physical and mental freshness. We practically renewed the squad that won everything last season. It is not easy to work 21 months without rest and not feel any after-effects. We come a long way from finishing third in Ligue 1, even if we could have done better.

Speaking of the roster of the season, what blew up the trio (AGBEGNIADAN Komlan, TOURÉ Amed and YAO Kouamé Alphonse) who had carried the team at arm’s length the previous season?

AGBEGNIADAN Komlan had family problems. He went to settle them to, I hope, come back with a good mentality next season. As for Fonsinho, he was hampered by an injury that did not allow him to explode. TOURÉ Amed who was much more present than the other two was also not spared by repeated illnesses and injuries. He was not at his best even though in the second half of the season he showed all the qualities that are recognized. That’s kind of why this trio hasn’t been reconstituted. But we nevertheless discovered revelations like TAPSOBA Abdoul Fessal who took his chance to show that he was already a formidable striker despite his young age. There was also BAGATÉ Salif who joined us during the mid-season mercato and who showed enormous qualities.

TOURÉ Amed has been transferred. Other players will certainly follow to make way for recruits. What are the stations or game compartments to be filled?

In the period of the mercato, there are inevitably departures and arrivals. Virtually all areas of the club will be affected. You know that CISSÉ goalkeeper Abdoul Karim is out for some time and we parted ways with AMANI coach Yao César Lambert. At ASEC Mimosas, we don’t do things randomly. Decisions are considered and matured before they are executed.

Julien CHEVALIER new coach

Changes have been announced at the technical staff level. Can you tell us more?  

The Chairman of the Board of Directors has just announced the appointment of Julien CHEVALIER as head coach to replace AMANI Yao. Julien is part of the Mimosas family for having been in charge of the formation of the club for nearly 6 years between 2011 and 2017. He has done a good job there and has the required diplomas (UEFA A and CAF A Licenses). 

We will build a strong and competitive team

How do you see the next season 2019 – 2020?

As we do every season with goals that don’t change and that are to win everything. We will build a strong and competitive team.

How do you feel about the case of CISSÉ goalkeeper Abdoul Karim, who was shortlisted for the finalstages of the CAN but deemed unfit at the last moment? 

Since his injury in the Semi-final of the National Cup against AFAD, the club has made every effort to get him back on his feet. Unfortunately, the FIF communiqué challenges the work of our medical staff. We will not get into unnecessary polemics. We are working for the future of the player who still has a long career ahead of him.

A word about COULIBALY Wonlo who is on the final list of 23 elephants in THE CAN 2019? 

We are all proud of his selection. He had a remarkable season even though I think he could do better. He has great qualities. I’m happy for him and he deserves everything that’s happening to him right now. He leaves with the torch and especially the blessings of ASEC Mimosas at the CAN.  

I call for the mobilization of all

Your last word…

I call for the remobilization of all, players, managers, employees and supporters. ASEC Mimosas is our club to all. Although players have often missed games, the shareholders, for the most part, have also failed in their duty as supporters. The 12th man Mimosas, despite the efforts of our “unconditionals”, was almost non-existent throughout the season while the players needed him more than ever. There is a time to claim, ask questions or challenge. But first, you have to do the duty for which you are proud to say that you are a Shareholder. That is to say pushing the club to always move forward.