Since his departure from Marumo Gallants (South Africa) last November, the Frenchman Sebastien Migné (49) is looking for a job. The former Congo, Kenya and Equatorial Guinea coach, who admits he intends to give priority to the sporting project over the financial aspect says it will be difficult for foreign coaches to get top jobs in Africa in less than no time.
Sportnewsafrica: It has been four months since you left South Africa. How do you live this period of unemployment?
Sebastien MIGNE: The first few weeks, I rested, I took time for my family and for myself. But I must admit that I'm beginning to find the time long. I'm not a very patient person by nature, and not working weighs on me. Football is my passion before being my job. I want to take over a team, to be back on the pitch, in the dressing room, talking to the players. I can also assure you that my family can't wait for me to go back to work (laughs). I'm not like a lion in a cage, but I can feel that I must not be easy to live with every day.
Do you follow a lot of matches?
Yes, of course I do. I followed the African Cup of Nations in Cameroon very closely, I watch European matches. On Tuesday night, the family program was Koh-Lanta, but I followed Chelsea-Lille (2-0) in the Champions League. As there are several screens in the house, this was no problem (laughs). I'm also working on training programs that I'll put in place when I'm back in a job.
What is your priority: a national team or a club?
My last experience was with a club in South Africa, and I must admit that it was not the best choice of my life. I had just spent a season at Niort (France, Ligue 2), as a member of the staff of my friend Sébastien Desabre, and I had this opportunity to manage Marumo Gallants. I don't regret it, because it was a life experience that made me understand that you have to commit yourself somewhere only when the conditions are right, and in South Africa they were not. Today, if there was a priority, it would be a national team, but I remain very attentive to what can happen in the clubs.
"My priority? It's rather a national team".
Is Africa still your priority?
Yes. I was coach of three countries, assistant to Claude Le Roy in DR Congo, Congo and Togo, and even if I also accompanied Claude in Asia (Oman and Syria), it is in Africa that I experienced the best moments of my career. It's a continent where you can experience great emotions, great moments. But I am not closing any doors, and I am ready to work in France, Africa or Asia.
Have you sent your CV to any federations?
I have done so where there are calls for applications, like Madagascar for example. We know that there are federations that are looking, or will soon be looking for a coach, and I am of course paying attention. At club level, things are often moving, especially in North Africa. But the sporting aspect will be essential. The financial question is not the one that will make me decide or not my future destination. I am working with an agent, but I am not closed if another one allows me to find a position.
Football is also about networking. Do you think you have maintained yours enough?
I think I've neglected this aspect a little too much. I probably told myself too many times that my skills alone would be enough, but I now realize how important networks are. I also realize that the African federations are probably more willing to trust local technicians. Algeria and Senegal have won the last two African Cup of Nations with coaches who I consider to be bi-nationals, because Cissé and Belmadi (the former arrived in France at the age of nine and Belmadi was born there, editor's note) were trained in France, but these two sporting successes have given ideas to federations. It will perhaps be a little more complicated than before for foreign technicians to find a position in Africa...