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Friday, 12 July, 2002, 16:42 GMT 17:42 UK
Senegal's coaching options
Bruno Metsu on the bench
Metsu has been instrumental to Senegal's progress

Bruno Metsu has said that he will return to Senegal if he leaves for a 10 month coaching stint with Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates.

But it remains a big question as to whether he will be allowed to or if he's really keen on returning to Dakar.

His sabbatical from the Lions could leave the door open for others keen on managing the new African football power.

BBC Sport Online takes a look at the early contenders.

Abdoulaye Sarr

Sarr is Metsu's assistant and performed a similar role for former coach Peter Schnittger.

A former player, Sarr is a highly regarded coach and has the technical skills to succeed in the job.

"Abdoulaye is the best assistant I have ever had.

"If I ever get a job in a top European club, I would not hesitate to take him with me," Metsu said.

Al Ain is far from the cream of European football but Metsu might tempt him into making some petrodollars in the gulf.

Claude Le Roy
Claude Le Roy managed Senegal in 1992

While Metsu has confidence in Sarr, many fans in Senegal do not.

"He seems to be the eternal number two, says a veteran Senegalese football writer.

"He doesn't have the personality to command."

But Sarr remains the favourite to take over in the short term.

Jules Bocande

Bocande was Senegal's greatest ever football figure and is a much loved figure by the players, who see the assistant coach as an older brother.

But it remains to be seen if they would take him seriously as a manager.

In conjunction with Boubacar Sarr, Bocande took the Lions to the 1994 African Nations' Cup - but is regarded as a motivator rather than a tactician.

Reappointing Bocande could be a risky move but he remains a viable candidate for a 10 month spell in temporary control.

Other local short term options include Mama Sow, the current Technical Director, Myacine Mar, the coach of the Under-23 team and Amsata Fall, coach of leading club Jeanne d'Arc.

Overseas help

If Metsu leaves permanently, there is little doubt that the federation will receive bundles of applications from foreign coaches with high and average profiles.

It is worth remembering Metsu's relative lack of experience when he took the job in November 2000.

But whoever gets the nod, be it for 10 months or a lot longer, he will be in the fortunate position of coaching a motivated and talented squad with a great future.

See also:

12 Jul 02 | Africa
08 Jul 02 | Africa
29 Jun 02 | Senegal
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