Back to Africa, objectives, recruitment, internship in Morocco… Donat Mulongoy reviews the news of Lupopo

The Cheminots of FC Saint Éloi Lupopo will leave the city of Kinshasa on the evening of this Wednesday, except for last minute changes, towards Casablanca, where the club will establish its headquarters to continue with the preparation of the season. But long before, the secretary general of the yellow and blue club, Donat Mulongoy, hosted a press briefing today in Kinshasa. Idyllic opportunity for the head of administration of FC Saint Eloi Lupopo to review the news of the team, clear up ambiguities on certain controversial subjects. From the objectives of the Lumpas to the Morocco internship, through the recruitment and the progress of the work of the Kibasa Maliba stadium, Donat Mulongoy satisfied the curiosity of the media professionals present at this press conference.

Here are the highlights :

Back to Africa: “It had been 7 years since we had found our way back to Africa. But during these 7 years, Lupopo never showed the signs of disappearance. We held out against all odds. We are not going to come back here to the conditions which have sometimes blocked our way to Africa, because that is part of the rules of the game, we had to deal with it. This time it’s the right one, we didn’t give up and here we are in the African Cup. It’s a pleasure for the club and its thousands of fanatics. ».

The after qualification? “We are in Africa but it is not enough. The club has set the bar very high, goals are raised. To achieve this, we first called on a quality coach. Mohamed Mohamed who is no longer to be presented, because he is among the elite of coaches on the African continent. We pulled it from great offers, including the one from FECOFA. So we recruited a coach to match our ambitions..

Players rejected by the coach: “We finished the season with a plethora of players, others weren’t even used for various reasons; competition, low performance, not up to par… There are even four players who have just been dismissed (Franck Ndomba, Franck Ikiki, Joe Sapu). They were already ready for the trip, visa and ticket in hand, but the coach decided to put them aside. There are 5 others to whom the coach has granted a week in Casablanca, to convince. »

Recruitment : “The club has picked up some important elements and we continue to unearth others. Among our recruits; we quote Ikoyo Iyembe, central defender from DCMP, Morou Youssouf, Togolese goalkeeper (summoned by his national team), Tchatakoura Abdul, Togolese striker, the young Kenyan striker Lokale Sydney. There is also the Congolese international (from Brazzaville, editor’s note), Osete, who is captain of the Diables Rouges A’, and summoned to the A. We also took Mongo, a Congolese striker who passed through Angola then Libya. We are running after two foreign players and a Congolese player. We only announce when it’s official. »

Qualitative recruitment, at the request of the coach or simple prestige? “We recruited based on need. Before leaving, coach Christian Bracconi had drawn up a list of players likely to leave the club, and had indicated to the sports committee positions to be reinforced. Who recruits ? The club is recruiting, the coach too. We can’t wait for the coach alone to do the recruiting. We are all in the pot, to be able to answer for the results that the club will obtain at the end of the season. »

The preparation : “We have resumed our activities since August 2, at the Joli Site site, in Lubumbashi. We already had the program for this internship blocked. It was initially planned in Tanzania, then in South Africa and finally in Morocco. And we are happy to announce that it was only this morning that the Cherifian Kingdom granted us the visas”.

Why the choice of Morocco? “Morocco is the ideal place for us. It is a country that brings together the optimal conditions for the preparation of athletes in all disciplines. The infrastructures are not to be sought. As a simple illustration, the site where we are going to erect our headquarters has two artificial lawns and two natural lawns. We have the advantage of already preparing on both pitches since we will host Esperança de Sagrada on an artificial pitch while we will play at home on natural grass. So Morocco is ideal, although it costs us a lot of money. President Jacques Kyabula Katwe has decided that we should go there. »

Moroccan teams to face in a friendly: “When we contacted the Moroccan federation to find us clubs against which we will play friendly matches, their response was clear. She told us “get there, all the clubs are available”. Things are well organized at home, everything goes through the federation”.

Contacts with Philippe Kinzumbi of TP Mazembe?  » It’s a football player. He is not forbidden to speak with Lupopo. We shouldn’t get involved in this controversy. If Kinzumbi and his club, TP Mazembe have problems, let them manage them alone, while putting Lupopo out of it all. We want Kinzumbi but at the moment he is a Mazembe player. By then, you will know where he will play”.

Club objectives for the 2022-2023 season: “The objectives were first set by the sports committee. We discussed it with the technical staff. And we agreed with the coach that in the CAF Cup, the minimum is the group stage. If we stop at this stage, we will say that we have reached our objective. But since appetite comes with eating, we can always reactivate the batteries to go further. In the National Football League, we are playing this season for the title, nothing else. Already last season, we came close to the title.

Precautions against administrative errors. “We make sure everything is in order. We are doing our best to remain compliant with what is related to CAF regulations, with regard to technical, medical staff and even players.

Precise location of the first African match at home: “We want to host our matches at the Kibasa Maliba stadium. Work is progressing by leaps and bounds, whether it’s the playing area, changing rooms, stands and others, everything is progressing well. We want to play our preliminaries there because it’s not a very demanding stage. If ever CAF refuses us to host the group stage matches there, we will write to Mazembe to request its stadium. It’s no shame to ask when you don’t have one…”

Isaac B’ampendee

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