Q & A with Coach Dossena of St. George FC
Born in Milan on May 2 1958, Giuseppe Dossena had an exceptional career as a player winning the world cup with the Azzuri in 1982.
Done with playing Dossena fell in love with Africa going on to coach Ghana. And now 11 years after the Ghanaian job, he is back with Ethiopian side St George and is causing ripples at the ongoing Cecafa Kagame Cup in Dar es Salaam.
Friendly and down to earth, SuperSport.comÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Collins Okinyo had a lengthy chat with the world cup winner.
SuperSport.com: Tell us more about your playing career.
Dossena: My playing career begun at Torino 1976-1977, then between 1977-1978 I moved to Pistoiese,1978-1979 I played for Cesena,1979-1981 I was at Bologna,1981-1987 was at Torino,1987-1988 I moved to Udinese,1988-1991 I played for Sampdoria as I completed my career in 1991-1992 where I played for Perugia.
SuperSport.com: How was it playing for the Italian National team?
Dossena: It was one of the best times in my career I played for Azzuri between 1981 until 1987 and I was in the World Cup winning team in 1982 as I managed to play 38 times for my country which made me very proud.
SuperSport.com: Talking of the Azzuri do you feel the current Italian squad is a good as the team that won the 1982 finals?
Dossena: Most definitely in Italy good players are discovered every year and you can remember they won the 2006 world cup again meaning the Azzuri will forever be great. SuperSport.com: What inspired you to go into coaching and which are some of the team have you managed in your time as a coach?
Dossena: After playing for a long time I could not divorce myself from football that is why I went into coaching. My first stint as a coach was in Triestina as assistant coach, then I coached Ghana for two years between 1998-2000.
I moved to Paraguay as assistant coach for Cesare Maldini in 2002 but I left the same year to join Albanian national team. Later in the year, I moved to Al Ittihad in Jeddah between 2002 and 2003,then between 2003 -2004 I was at Lodigiani in Italy then eventually I came back to Africa to join St. George in 2010.
SuperSpoer.com: Coach what prompted you to come back to Africa after an 11 year absence and especially to a club like St. George?
Dossena: St.GeorgeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s chairman has a big vision that most clubs in Europe do not even have. After he shared it with me, I simply could not say no and so we settled for a deal and I am happy things are going very well for me.
SuperSport.com: What are some of the achievements in your time as St. George coach?
Dossena: I came to St. George when they were bottom of the Ethiopian league and since January this year I have managed to ensure that we have gone 23 matches without a loss and now we are a point behind Coffee Board.
SuperSport.com: What could you attribute the success you have enjoyed at St.George to?
Dossena: The club has a fantastic philosophy and I managed to improve the squad by bringing some fresh faces in. The club chairman has been very supportive and I believe his vision is working.
We are on our way to building a great team for the future and I believe St. George will be a name to reckon with in Africa.
SuperSport.com: Having qualified for the semifinals of the Cecafa Kagame Cup in your first time incharge, do you forsee the team reaching the finals and eventually taking the trophy?
Dossena: I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t say that because every match is a tough match and the opponents are very formidable but I am happy the way my players have gelled well as we can only hope for the best.
SuperSport.com: Why do you think not many East and Central Africa players make it to the professional ranks compared to their West African counterparts?
Dossena: You need facilities because if you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t train you cannot play. There is immense talent in this region who just need to be given the right atmosphere to become physically and mentally prepared.
SuperSport.com: What is your parting shot to players in this region who would like to make it big and to the St. George fans?
Dossena: The players have to train hard to make growth in football easy. Discipline, commitment and hard work go hand in hand and should never let fame get in into their heads. To the St.George fans just keep on supporting your team.