The boys from the left banks of the Benue river are making their second appearance at the semifinals of the Confederations Cup after the 2003 campaign that saw them end runner’s up.
Three Key factors contributed to the club’s renaissance and success
The internal reforms
The club has gone through a series of structural reforms with the return of an ‘in-house’ coach Aboubackar Souleyman who enjoys a “free hand” policy to do and undo the team’s game strategies at will.
Coton sports has equally moved further into partnership with clubs from the northern regions of Cameroon. A move already bearing fruits as players from other football academies constitute a nursery to the club’s renowned academy that has seen many players pass through the various categories to the senior club. Sahel of Maroua’s former goal getter, Lamberet Araina and Souaibou Marou stands as a perfect examples of this partnership.
Coton Sport ➡️ #TotalCAFCC semis. 🙌
After being away from the competition since 2014, the Cameroonian giants make it to the semi-finals for the third time in their history. 🇨🇲 pic.twitter.com/MQr07dHCvZ
— Total CAFCL – Total CAFCC 🏆 (@CAFCLCC) May 23, 2021
The balanced equation of players
Unlike in recent years when recruitment was more of quantity than quality, the club had released a good number of less efficient veterans in the likes of Rostand Yimga, Aime Mangolo, Ngon a Tati and Legrand Nkuissi in favour of youngstars such as Narcisse Junior Nlend, Mamoudou Hassana Abbo , pushing Daouda Kamilou to the bench. The blend between these youngstars and experienced players still present has come to give another chemistry to the Garoua boys. This situation comes in a time when coton sport’s playmaker Burkinabe international Arnaud Sibiri has come to maturity and now players a preponderant role in changing the game in favour of the Coton weavers.
A perfect game style
The coton weavers have developed what has become their key to success; developing the game at the midfield with Arnaud Sibiri as playmaker and Thuente Thierry, Daman Bouba and to a lesser extent Richard Ebonge hovering around and trying to put the balls at the flanks for fast crosses to fall on Lambert Gueme Araina who has already been able to score 6 times in this competition and 7 times in the Cameroon’s elite one championship for the current season.
The confidence of the players rises as they cross each stage of the competition, becoming a threat to all opponents.
Coton Sports will once more face JS Kabylie in the semis after falling home and away to the Algerian side in the group stages. The latter managed by former Coton sport’s coach Denis Lavarge had earlier on expressed wishes of a rematch with Coton Sports at the semis. Nevertheless, the semifinals promised to be a different game with the stakes being a place in the finals.