The 2017 African Nations Cup is almost upon us, with the coaches of the 16 teams putting the final touches to their preparations this week.
KweséSports introduces the tacticians seeking continental glory in Gabon, starting with Group A.
HUGO BROOS (CAMEROON)
A former Belgian international who helped his national team to fourth at the 1986 Fifa World Cup in Mexico, he will be under pressure to deliver for an expectant Cameroon public.
The 64-year-old has not always been popular in the country since taking over from Volker Finke a year ago, with his selections and desire to blood new players often criticised.
He found success as a coach in Belgium, winning the league with Club Bruges and Anderlecht, and has also coached in Greece, Turkey and Algeria.
PAULO DUARTE (BURKINA FASO)
Portuguese national Duarte (pictured) is in his second spell as coach of Burkina Faso, having also led the side at the 2010 and 2012 Nations Cup tournaments.
It was also largely ‘his side’ that was taken to second place at the 2013 competition in South Africa by the Belgian Paul Put. By that time he had moved on to coach Gabon, but battled to find success with them.
Outspoken and at times combustable, the 47-year-old spent most of his playing career at Portuguese side Uniao Leiria and later became their coach. After just two years he was appointed to lead the Burkinabe in 2008 and spent the next four years with the team, bringing through many of their current stars.
JOSE ANTONIO CAMACHO (GABON)
The weight of expectation will be heavy on the Spaniard as he seeks a maiden continental title for hosts Gabon, but he has been part of a near farcical buildup for the side.
He was only appointed to his post 43 days before the start of the tournament, but brings with him bags of experience as a former coach of Real Madrid, as well as Espanyol, Sevilla and Benfica in Portugal.
The 61-year-old is considered one of Spain’s finest former players, having featured over 400 times for Real Madrid and won 81 caps for his country, who he also managed between 1998 and 2002.
BACIRO CANDE (GUINEA-BISSAU)
One of the few homegrown coaches in the Nations Cup field this year, Cande earned his spurs with nine league titles for local side Sporting Bissau.
He did have a previous go at the reins of the national side in 2003, and lasted five years. He earned his chance this time when the country’s Portuguese coach Paulo Torres was banned by CAF in March last year.
Cande has also worked in semi-professional football in Portugal and ultimately led Guinea-Bissau to their historic Nations Cup qualification.
By Nick Said