SFF appoints Jan Mak as national team coach | 31 August 2019
The Seychelles Football Federation has announced that Dutchman Jan Mak has been chosen as the country’s national team head coach on a short contract.
It was the secretary general of the Seychelles Football Federation (SFF), George Bibi who said this in a press conference held at the SFF headquarters, Roche Caïman, yesterday morning.
The Dutchman, who is not unknown to Seychelles football, has been called in by the SFF executive committee to prepare a team for the 2022 Qatar World Cup and the 2021 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifying matches. In the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, the Seychelles team are to meet Rwanda this coming Thursday (September 5) at Stad Linite and the return match in Rwanda is scheduled for September 10.
They will also play South Sudan (away game first) in the Afcon qualifying matches from October 7-15, 2019.
Mr Bibi said the SFF executive committee has taken the decision to bring in coach Mak because the contract of former Seychelles coach Gavin Jeanne ends today and the Seychelles national team would have been without a coach for the upcoming qualifying matches.
Mr Bibi noted that coach Mak’s contract will end on October 31 and in the meantime the SFF will advertise for a permanent coach for the national team. He further said that coach Jeanne’s contract extension with the national team could not happen as the coach has not yet handed in his performance report to be assessed. He said that coach Jeanne though, in his capacity as former national team coach, forwarded a list of pre-selected players to the SFF for coach Mak to work with.
Coach Mak who arrived in the country on Sunday has on his side contacted the football clubs around the country for possible players who could fit in the pre-selection. According to Mr Bibi, pre-selection training will start tomorrow and on other possible days when there are no league matches as coach Mak has insisted he does not want to interrupt the running of the league.
The new national team manager is Bernard St Ange. Coach Mak will be helped by Red Star Defence Forces coach Nigel Freminot and St Louis coach Michel Renaud. Nelson Sopha remains the goalkeeper trainer while Sam Moses is the medical officer.
It remains to be seen what will be the outcome of the matches since coach Mak will have very little time to work with the players who will have to adapt to his playing style.
Mak was first hired by the SFF 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.
He then came back in 2010 to lead Seychelles against Namibia in the first-leg match in the African Nations Championship (Chan) southern zone qualifiers. Mak has also worked as technical advisor with Praslin-based Côte d’Or Football Club for some time.
An experienced coach, Mak has previously worked with Groningen, Feyenoord Rotterdam and FC Volendam in his native Netherlands, amateur side HVV Den Haag in 1971, 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.