|Job||xxxx Football Coach|
|Org||xxxx National Team|
|Club as Coach||Equatorial Guinea [Head Coach]|
2017 07 11 Retrieve
[The opportunity, you will seize] I worked alongside Jean-Pierre Papin at Strasbourg and Lens. I then found myself out of work, which is when Claude Le Roy got in touch with me via his agent. He was looking for a new assistant to replace Herve Renard, who I had played with in the French third division. At first, I turned him down, as Herve is a friend and I thought he was still with Claude. I didn’t realise that he had left the previous month to become coach of Zambia!
2017 07 11b Retrieve
[A taste for travel, you will have] I’ve always wanted to make a living from my passion, and to travel. To some extent, all football lovers are travellers. To work in Africa, you’ve got to be resourceful. It’s a continent where you’re constantly required to go beyond the call of duty, and where you never stop having to adapt to different situations.
2017 07 11c Retrieve
[Strength of character, you will show] One of Claude’s real assets is how he manages the big stars and their egos. Like Emmanuel Adebayor, for example, who is a fantastic player, but who has a very particular character. You’re always walking a tightrope with him. You have to make sure everything is perfect for him, but without it having an adverse effect on the group
You must never be intimidated by directors, who may want a say over your footballing decisions. Claude taught me that if you want to be successful in international football, you must not be scared of being told to pack your bags at any given time
2017 07 11d Retrieve
[In the country, you will live] Claude instilled in me the principle of living in the country where you work. There is local football to develop, new talent to discover, and customs and traditions to learn. You can’t just fly in for the matches and then head straight off again.
2017 07 11e Retrieve
[Your freedom, you will reclaim] It was possibly the most difficult moment of my life when the time came to announce to Claude that I wanted to take charge of the Red Devils. I had meant to stay with him until the end of his career, but sometimes opportunities arise and I think it was the right time, even if he didn’t necessarily agree.
2017 07 11f Retrieve
[Into the deep end, you will jump] I’m really enjoying being the number one and making my own decisions, even if the timing hasn’t necessarily been the easiest. When I came in, we had matches coming up against Congo DR, then Ghana twice, and Egypt - three of the continent’s best teams. So I knew I was taking a bit of a risk, but I still went for it because the aim in the medium term is also to regenerate the national team and to put Congo back up where it belongs, which is to say around tenth or eleventh place in Africa
2017 07 11g Retrieve
[The test of time, you will stand] We still have it all to do, and we still need to get back on a roll. I hope that my bosses will show patience, which is not always the case in this line of work. If we manage to work calmly but with passion, bravery and determination, then we are capable of achieving things together. But I don’t want to give anyone false hope. Even if we do manage to get a result against Ghana or Egypt over the coming weeks, there will still be plenty of hard work ahead of us
2020 05 21 Retrieve
[Sebastien Migne balancing realism and ambition with Equatorial Guinea] When I was the head coach of Kenya, I realised how difficult it was to play against Equatorial Guinea, which means that their squad has some good potential. So I said to myself, ‘maybe I can do something with that team’, and that’s why I accepted the challenge. At first, I didn’t have enough time to consider new players, so I stuck with the available squad. Later, I visited every part of the country, trying to find local players, exactly what I used to do with Claude Le Roy. While we have some European-based players, circumstances in Africa make it difficult for them to adapt. Therefore, I’m focusing on finding the best local players, even if the coronavirus is currently delaying that project
[Recalling his time with his compatriot, Migne said] With Le Roy I learned how to work outside one’s home country and that football is an international sport and not limited to France, where I’d previously worked. He taught me how to discover international football and how to appreciate other cultures. We started with Gulf countries where we got a taste of Arab culture, before moving to Africa. Embarking on my journey, I could not have had a better mentor than him. He taught me how to play attacking football, something I’m trying to implement now
He is like a father for me, we worked together for nine years, and our relationship goes beyond work. We spent a lot of time in Africa without our families, so I think that over the years we spent more time together than with our families
[Parting company with Le Roy was no easy decision] It was definitely a difficult call. It’s not easy to put nine years behind you, but when an opportunity to work as head coach presented itself, I jumped at it
[The transition from assistant to head coach was clearly challenging for Migne. Asked about the difference between the two roles] When you’re head coach, you have a lot of pressure on your shoulders. I used to help Le Roy in training sessions, but now the responsibility for everything from team tactics to substitutions lies solely with me
[The draw of the second round of African qualifiers for Qatar 2022 saw Equatorial Guinea drawn in Group B along with Tunisia, Zambia and Mauritania] It’s a tough group but we have nothing to lose. We’ll play every game with the same determination, and we’ll seize any opportunity. We have to be patient and humble and we have to learn from all these international games
According to the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, we’re the second-tier side in this group and we have to accept that. However, I don’t think other teams will be underestimating us, particularly Tunisia, who know us well after struggling to beat us by one goal in our recent encounter
[As for his objectives with Equatorial Guinea, Migne is both realistic and ambitious] We have many goals. It’s true that we’ve never made the World Cup and that the task ahead isn’t easy. At a continental level, the country only once participated in the Africa Cup of Nations, and that was as hosts. But we have a promising future ahead of us and there are many beautiful things we can achieve, if we all work together to make progress