Football-National team coach Jan Mak introduced


National team coach Mak (left) and SFF chairman Chetty

A familiar face to local football fans, coach Mak has been given a one-year contract where along with his responsibilities with the senior team, he will also work with the youths as well as help in the development of football in the country.

Seychelles Football Federation (SFF) chairman Elvis Chetty said during the press conference that coach Mak will be assisted by technical director Ulrich Mathiot. The SFF is in the meantime looking for an assistant coach and should make an announcement during the next few weeks.

Speaking to the media present, coach Mak said he is happy to be here for a second time and hopes this time he will stay for a longer period than he did the last time he was here in 2010. His first appointment was as technical advisor in 2008 to work with the national selection in the African qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup which was combined with the preliminaries for the African Nations Cup, before he came back to lead Seychelles in the African Nations Championship (Chan) southern zone qualifiers in 2010.

He also noted that the quality of football has improved, with teams playing more organised than before.
The SFF is working on a strategic plan aimed at helping Seychelles retain its gold medal at the next Indian Ocean Island Games. The national team are expected to start their first training session on May 7 and will train weekly every Tuesday and the first test for coach Jan Mak will be in July when he will lead the team to Zambia in the Cosafa (Council of Southern African Football Associations) championship.

The appointment of an experienced foreign coach should be a welcome boost to the local football community who has seen the country’s national side play decline since winning the gold medal on home soil in the 2011 Indian Ocean Island Games under the guidance of local coach Ralph Jean-Louis.

Coach Mak’s curriculum vitae includes posts with various clubs including Groningen, Feyenoord Rotterdam and FC Volendam in his native Netherlands, amateur side HVV Den Haag in 1971, Swedish sides Halmstads BK between 1981 and 1984, IS Halmia, IK Brage and IF Elfsborg between 1988 and 1990.

He has also coached Tampereen Pallo-Veikot from Finland and Nejmeh SC of Lebanon. His latest job before returning to Seychelles was at Swedish side GAIS in 2012.

S. N.