Mauritania coach Njoya sets U20 Afcon goals

Regardless of what happens at the African youth championship, the target is to build for the Lions of Chinguetti

Mauritania U20 coach Mauril Njoya says his ambition is to help a squad that would become an asset to the country’s senior national team.

The West African country are hosts of the 2021 U20 Africa Cup of Nations and they will commence their campaign against Cameroon at the Stade Olympique.

Making their debut at the biennial African championship, the Junior Lions of Chinguetti are modest about their ambitions, and the tactician who replaced Malian Baye Ba in December 2020, is upbeat that his team would give a good account of themselves.

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“Our objective is to have a good performance for this group to continue growing. We are building a team to become an asset for the senior national team,” Njoya told Caf website.

This is a team that we have been preparing for three years. I believe this is a dream opportunity for Mauritanian footballers and we prepared for this event in a very good way. Now we ask the whole nation to support these junior players.

“We prepared on two levels. Our technical department studied players in the national championship, and we had our eyes on players abroad in France, Turkey and academies in Senegal. I am not saying we are to win this U20 Afcon, but Mauritania will have their word.”

The Cameroonian also admitted it was a risk taking the coaching role less than three months to the commencement of the tournament.

“Yes, I replaced one of the best coaches on the continent (Baye Ba), but the job of a coach is always linked with some risk,” he continued.

“You can win titles and be sacked afterwards. When you coach a team it’s always a risk.

“I was recruited to continue a job that my predecessor had started three years ago. It’s a project that started with the creation of this team that has gone through several tournaments.

“I found a well-prepared team, and I must pay tribute to my predecessor Ba who did a good job. We continued what he started – to build a winning team before the U20 Afcon.”

After Sunday’s fixture against the Cubs, they will square up against Uganda and Mozambique in their remaining Group A games.

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