There is a saying that after the storm comes the calm and after match day two in the ongoing qualifiers for the 2015 African Nations Cup, the Indomitable Lions appear to be growing in strength and there's no doubt, however, that the new introductions into the team have dragged the Lions’ men, maybe reluctantly, near something approaching competence.
66 year old Volker Finke seems to have identified the Achilles heel that was disfiguring the team. The team’s German coach has been separating the chaffs from the fine grains in a bid to regain Cameroon’s historical greatness in football. As we see from a distance, order and discipline now flourish within and without the lions’ den. Many times before, we have challenged coaches to move into the country’s hinterlands to identify and unearth young and vibrant talents. This is what Volker Finke has done and almost immediately we can see good results.
Players like Jérôme Guihota of FC Valenciennes in France, Ambroise Oyongo Bitolo of New York Red Bulls in the United States and Joseph Fabrice Ondoua, the unexploited FC Barcelona goalkeeper, are players who came from nowhere and are now proving their worth.
And almost immediately, it was Clinton Njie Mua, born August 15, 1993 who won many friends.
Things can change even in this Cameroon of despair. Let this experience in football be a strong lesson to those who are failing us in public administration and politics that changes most often come with good results. And for the developing Clinton Njie, whom I saw growing first at Small Soppo and then at G.H.S Bokwango and the so many fledgling players brought into the team, little by little and bit by bit they will grow and by gradual accessions will slowly increase until they become such prolific players that it will be utterly impossible to find any means of resisting them like a plague grown to huge proportions.
Before now, the more the intervening steps were multiplied in the national team, the more we were told that one thing could be explained in terms of another or derived from another and the more room was left for bias and self-deception. Even the blind in Cameroon can confirm the fact that the process of degradation went quickly and as seen from the last World Cup in Brazil, it left many a football fan in this football crazy nation with unflattering hopes, false valuations and sad imaginings. Many philosophers have speculated about the problem of change and like a ship that for long has gone weak and creaky with the old boards necessarily being removed, the Indomitable Lions have so far changed a lot, and German coach, Finke has promised to continue the substantial and accidental rearrangement underway in squad.
A Day after the impressive victory in Yaounde last September 10, celebrations went on in Small Soppo where there was binge drinking from sunup to sundown and all who passed by to hear the story of Njie, a boy who like the legendary Pele seems to be rising from rags to riches, went home with two convictions: that good things can come from anyplace and better days lie ahead. Once again, Cameroonians can sleep well and dream dreams, while hoping that our national football team attains a new dimension.
By Solomon Lyonga Ikundi