Coach Kallon sure of success at ... FC Kallon, the team he owns

2 months ago 3123
Mohamed Kallon with FC KallonMohamed Kallon had two spells as a player with the team he owns and which bears his name

Former Sierra Leone captain Mohamed Kallon says he is sure of success at FC Kallon, the club he owns, after taking the managerial reins.

The former Inter Milan and Monaco forward, who turns 43 next month, has begun his senior coaching career at his club, which he also used to previously play for.

The move comes two years after he acquired European football's leading coaching qualification, the Uefa Pro license, which allows him to coach at the highest level in world football.

"I have been working behind the scenes developing programs and game models for FC Kallon from 2010," Kallon told BBC Sport Africa.

Back in 2020, Kallon told the BBC he had a ten-year plan to prepare himself for achieving his goal of managing clubs in Europe or national teams around the world.

He completed the purchase of FC Kallon, which was previously called Sierra Fisheries, in 2002, two years after the side was re-named after him.

Kallon insists starting his coaching career at the club he owns is a logical decision and the first stop towards achieving his dreams.

"My coaching ambition remains the same - I want to progressively develop through the process," he said.

"Coaching FC Kallon is the start of my 10-year plan. I think it is the best club to start my coaching career with because of my vision to help develop more players for international opportunities and our national team.

"Apart from developing my club, I believe it adds values and brings hope to Sierra Leone football. Charity begins at home, so it's good for me to start at home."

An Asian champions league winner with Saudi Arabia's Al Ittihad in 2005, Kallon has previously been engaged in coaching at youth level.

He has had spells with Sierra Leone's Under-17 team as well as the U17 and U19 sides of US Major League Soccer outfit Houston Dynamo.

He started working on coaching in 2013, before he retired from football as a player, earning his qualifications from the Confederation of African Football (Caf), European body Uefa and the United States Soccer Federation.

Benefits for Sierra Leone

Mohamed Kallon in action for MonacoKallon, pictured in 2006 during his stint with Monaco, scored seven gaols in 39 caps for Sierra Leone

Kallon has started brightly, guiding his team through the first round stage of Africa's Confederation Cup after beating Benin's Buffles du Borgou 4-0 on aggregate, despite playing their home leg at a neutral venue in Liberia.

It is only the second time a Sierra Leonean club has gone past the preliminary round in African inter-club competition since 2011-12, when Kallon scored as FC Kallon eliminated Cameroon's Union Douala in the Confederation Cup.

FC Kallon now face Egyptian side Future in next month's second preliminary round, with the victors of that tie facing a final two-legged play-off before the group stage of Africa's second-tier club tournament begins.

Despite the challenge in front of him, Kallon has set himself a target of making FC Kallon a force in African football.

"I'm focusing on building a strong team that can compete with other great clubs in Africa. We are also working on rebranding and marketing," he said.

"I think the biggest beneficiary in all this will be Sierra Leone, because whatever I am going to achieve elsewhere will be brought back to Sierra Leone."

Senegal's Cisse an inspiration

Aliou Cisse on the side linesAliou Cisse led Senegal to the Nations Cup title in February and was named Africa's men's coach of the year in July

Kallon played under many coaches during his playing days but it is Senegal coach Aliou Cisse who he sees as a role model and takes inspiration from for now.

He is looking forward to following in the footsteps of Cisse, who won the Africa Cup of Nations with the Teranga Lions earlier this year and was subsequently named as best men's coach of the year by Caf.

"At this point, I will say Aliou Cisse from Senegal is doing great and I admire his courage and determination," Kallon explained.

Kallon did the Uefa Pro license course alongside former team-mate and ex-Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo, who now coaches Turkish team Karagumruk - home of current Leone Stars captain Steven Caulker.

Kallon who played for 16 clubs and skippered Sierra Leone during his playing days also has experience as a football administration.

Apart from being the head coach of FC Kallon and owner, he is also the chief executive of the club, and has twice unsuccessfully made attempts to be president of his country's FA.

He has now done what many footballers cannot claim to have achieved - both playing and coaching a club he owns.

Source Article