Africa: Jaouna - From Assistant Coach to Berkane's Hero

analysis

In his first experience as a head coach in Morocco's top league, Mounir Jaouani has shown his great potential as a manager, able to lead RS Berkane to play for titles.

The 51-year-old had been working as assistant under Berkane's former coaches, Rachid Taoussi and Abderrahim Taleb, the period during which he got the love and respect of the fans.

In 2017, the club decided to promote him to head coach in the wake of Taousi's departure.

"Jaouani has given a lot to our team. His strength is his communication abilities and modesty. He ranks as the successful manager in the club's history", Berkane captain Mohamed Aziz told CAFonline.com.

"He has learned a lot from being part of the coaching team under Rachid Taousi. He has continued from where the latter left off, and the results are till now very positive," said Elmostaph El Qarfi, a Moroccan coach and football analyst.

Jaouani has managed to lead Berkane to win their first national title, Coupe du Trône (Moroccan version of the FA Cup) in 2018. At the continental level, he steered the Oranges last season to the CAF Confederation Cup semi-final, before reaching a historical final this season, a feat which never seen in the history of Berkane since its creation in 1938.

"When we believe in our national expertise, we can reach good results. This is the case with Jaouani who is now on trails of Rachid Taoussi, winner of the CAF Confederation Cup and the CAF Super Cup with Maghreb De Fes (2011); Abdelkader Youmir, CAF Cup winner with Kawkab De Marrakech (1996), and Hussein Ammouta, winner of the CAF Champions League and the Supercup with Wydad Athletic Club (2017)", added Qarfi, an ardent fan of indigenous coaches.

With the support provided by the club's administration and supporters, Jaouani has masterminded a football revolution in Berkane. Charisma, enthusiasm and determination count among his strengths.

"He is modest, hard-working and enthusiastic, always close to his players. This has made him able to get the best out of them on the pitch," said Mostapha Berjal, a dyed in the wool RS Berkane supporter.

"We will never forget him. He has achieved historical things with the club till now," said Yassine Talbi, another supporter.

Jouani was a former player. He spent his entire career at KAC Kenitra, in his hometown of Kenitra, starring as a defender in 20 seasons (1984-2004), 14 of them as captain of the team. He is rated amongst the players with the most appearances in the Moroccan top flight, playing 550 matches for Kenitra, a team he will later manage between 2006-2007.

He had donned the colours of the Morocco national team, Atlas Lions, scoring twice in matches against the United Arab Emirates and Cote d'Ivoire in the 90's.

"You cannot play the final of the CAF Confederation Cup each year. I believe in my players and the supporters believe in us. We will fight to bring the title to our city," Jouani said last week.

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