Coach Sewnet Bishaw
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Ethiopian national team head coach Sewnet Bishaw has avowed that his side’s primary goal is progressing from the group. In a press conference given Friday morning at the Football Federation’s head quarters, the coach stated that the team need to have a realistic goal for the tournament.
“If I say that we will bring the trophy from South Africa, would you believe me?” Sewnet asked the reporters gathered at the press conference. “No, this is not a realistic. But what I am saying is that we are prepared to be good competitors in the tournament. We will try to do whatever we can to progress from our group; it is going to be a war.”
Sewnet also announced that five players will be dropped from the preliminary squad after the scheduled training on Friday due to budget related issues. The drop off of the five players means that there will be 26 players remaining in the preliminary team. With striker Saladin Said joining the team after a week or so, the coach will have to kill four more dreams to reduce the squad to 23 players.
When asked about the five foreign based players that recently joined the preliminary team, Sewnet said “What should be known is that it is not hard to select 23 players for the tournament but we wanted to see if there is a better player. That is why we gave the foreign based players a chance to come here and join the team.”
Team captain Degu Debebe on his part said that the team will have a good showing at the tournament. “This will be the first nation’s cup for all of us, so it will be a stage where we show our talent and prove ourselves to the sports agents and clubs watching. As football players, we don’t want to remain playing at home; we want to be professionals. And having many professional players will make the national team stronger,” he said.
Finally, the vice president of the Ethiopian Football Federation Mr. Teka Asfaw announced that delegation will have 40 members. Players, the coaching and medical staff, journalists and representatives of the federation will be part of the delegation.