I have a feature on SETimes about Istanbul’s African Community Cup (see previous post).
From my story:
Can Vanli, a football manager who was part of the Turkish national coaching team, spent three months last year training around 40 African players.
“They had enough talent and motivation,” he said, “but it was very difficult to get a pitch. The time was limited, we had 40 players and it was too much. I was very sad that I couldn’t work with them longer.”
Vanli said he started training with the players because he was in contention to be the coach for Liberia and wanted experience training Africans, but working with them soon became a passion.
Now coaching in the Maldives, he believes around 35 of the players, none of whom were signed, had the talent to play in Turkey’s top amateur league, the Super Amatör, which would earn them a salary of 1,000 Turkish lira a month, roughly 500 euros. Three or four, he said, had the skills to play in the Bank Asia league, the second tier of Turkish football.Vanli said he started training with the players because he was in contention to be the coach for Liberia and wanted experience training Africans, but working with them soon became a passion.
“No one in the Super Amatör is serious about these players. They say, ‘we have enough Turkish players, and if we took African players it’s too much money.'”
A major hurdle is that residence permit required for hiring, the cost of which must usually be covered by the club.
You can read the whole thing here.