Les Dodos are part of the 3-nation Invitational Champions Cup that kicks off in Mumbai on Saturday.
Mauritius may not be one of the better known African teams, but recently their association has been in the news for taking steps in the right direction to boost their national side’s performance.
The Mauritius U-17 team recently lost to Zambia in the Final of the COSAFA Cup (Football Association for Southern Africa) getting the better of teams like Zambia, South Africa, Botswana and so on. The team also has a new setup to boast about.
Boosted by the appointment of Brazilian Francisco Filho as their head coach, the African nation is now putting together a long-term strategy to climb up the FIFA rankings. Currently placed at 160, the former Manchester United youth coach is looking forward to educating the players about a new football philosophy.
“My goal is to educate the players and bringing them a philosophy. In football, it is the teams who master the smallest details that win matches,” commented the former Brazilian player who has plied his trade across various countries.
Filho was part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s backroom staff at Manchester United
Elaborating about the style of football one can expect from Mauritius, Sir Alex Ferguson’s coach former colleague opined, “I advocate 4-3-3 because it gives players lot of freedom to showcase their creativity in the field.”
The tri-nation tournament in India involving the hosts and St. Kitts & Nevis will be the first big challenge for the newly-appointed coach. “We’re supposedly the weakest team in the tournament, so we will try and surprise them as outsiders,” said Filho who has been training the Mauritian team ahead of the tournament.
Club M though will be boosted by the presence of midfielder Kevin Bru, the French origin player has extensively played in Europe. He was a part of Ipswich Town having made 26 appearances last season in the Championship.
Also traveling with the squad will be youngster Kylian Yrnard, the Belgian born defender was an Anderlecht U-19 product having participated in the UEFA Youth Cup as well. Well-travelled forward Jonathan Justin will be the man to look out for. Having spent his career in the lower leagues in France, he also had a stint in Singapore.
Filho also better known as “The Professor” has handpicked former Mauritius skipper Jonathan Bru to be his assistant while Geraldo Mark has been named as the physical trainer for the team.
India’s record against African teams has been good. In the previous few outings, India had to go the better of Cameroon and Namibia when they had come down to play in India. However, the Blue Tigers are yet to face Mauritius in a competitive match.
Mauritius Squad traveling to Mumbai for the Tri nation tournament –
Playing Squad – Kevin Jean Louis, Marco Dorza, Emmanuel Vincent Jean, Francis Rasolofonirina, Damien Ballison, Luther Rose, Frederic Sarah, Jesson Rungasammy, Kevin Perticots, Mervyn Jocelyn, Cedric Theodore, Guiyano Chiffone, Jonathan Aza, Kylian Yrnard, Kevin Bru, Christopher Caserne, Samuel Rebet, Walter Duprey St Martin, Nick Harel and Jonathan Justin.
Coaching Staff – Francisco Filho (Head Coach), Jonathan Bru and Geraldo Mark