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banner Saturday, 10 March, 2001, 13:58 GMT
Former Ivorian coach opens academy
Former Ivory Coast coach Yeo Martial
Martial coached the 1992 Africa Cup of Nations winning team
Former Ivorian national coach Yeo Martial has opened his own youth academy in the commercial capital, Abidjan.

He has already signed a working agreement with Italian club Parma, who have the reigning African Footballer of the Year Patrick Mboma on their books.

I've discovered a new world, away from the touchline and I'm very satisfied
  Yeo Martial
Martial, who took his country's national team to the African Nations Cup title in 1992, has been working on the project for the last three years but only recently opened for business, with the Serie A side providing material assistance.

He retired last year as coach of Africa Sports, having led the club to the African Cup Winners' Cup title in 1999, and is now concentrating his efforts on the younger generation.

Long-standing dream

Former Ivory Coast coach Yeo Martial
Martial: "I have a very good group of players"
The new academy will not, however, act as feeder team for Parma, according to Martial.

"They are solely providing us with materials and other help but any players who have the opportunity to make the grade in Europe will not automatically go to Parma," he said.

"I have a very good group of players, some of whom have had trials with Africa Sports already. Two have really impressed them and might be signed soon."

The academy, Ecole Formation Yeo Martial, has been a long-standing dream for the coach, who spent the last 25 years in the African game.

"I've since discovered a new world, away from the touchline and I'm very satisfied.

Scouting duties

I hope my make my modest contribution to my old club
  Yeo Martial
"The Italians have helped me a lot and recognised my contribution and standing by entering into this partnership with me," Yeo added.

He will also add scouting duties for Africa Sports to his bow soon, looking for players as well as spying on opponents in upcoming continental club competition matches.

"I hope my make my modest contribution to my old club."

But Yeo has ruled out any return to the coaching bench at Africa Sports, who have made a poor start to the new season in Cote d'Ivoire.

"I just hope the fans can be a little more patient and give the new coach (Swiss-born Franco Cucionotta) a chance to work in peace," he said.

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