Miguel Gamondi’s Yanga contract extension good for both parties

By Michael Mwebe , The Guardian
Published at 05:50 AM Jun 14 2024
Young Africans head coach Miguel Gamondi with Premier League and Confederation Cup trophies
Photo: Courtesy of YASC
Young Africans head coach Miguel Gamondi with Premier League and Confederation Cup trophies

MIGUEL Gamondi will remain as Young Africans head coach. That was confirmed last week at the club’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre (JNICC).

The highly respected Argentine coach was officially announced as the new head coach of Young Africans during the club’s Annual General Meeting last year. He signed a one-year contract as a replacement for Nasreddine Nabi, who led Young Africans to the CAF Confederations Cup final.

He has overseen a fantastic title-winning 2023/24 campaign that has been a record-breaking one in many regards.

The three-time in-a-row champions won seven successive matches to finish the season with 80 points, eleven clear at the top of the Premier League. The record extending 30th league title was secured with three games to spare.

On the final day of the season, Young Africans came from behind to beat Tanzania Prisons 4-1 to set a new record for most points accumulated in a 30-game league season.

Gamondi’s men broke their own record for number of victories in a 30-game league season by winning 26 matches. They also won all their 15 home league games.

The Federation Cup was retained to complete a third domestic double in a row. 

He reached the quarter-finals of the CAF Champions League, where Young Africans were eliminated by South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns via penalty shootout.

Given his achievements, it is a no brainer the Tanzanian giants were keen on extending his reign even further. 

There were rumours that the former CR Belouizdad coach was looking to leave Wananchi after the end of the campaign, but it is now evident the club wants him to stay put and continue with the good work he has done.

Gamondi and Young Africans have been like a perfect match. The recent contract extension makes for a continuation of the relationship for another season.

Despite his success in Tanzania so far, Gamondi might still feel he has unfinished business in the CAF Champions League. 

When Gamondi expressed his excitement at the opportunity to continue with the project, success at the continental stage was certainly at the forefront.

He has reiterated his desire to see Young Africans break into the African club football elite.

 “I think Yanga needs to improve not only at the local level, but the goal of the president (Eng. Hersi Said) and the board is to be at a higher level in African competitions,” he said.

For Gamondi, he believes Young Africans have just started to register their name on the African football map. The club came close to lifting the CAF Confederation Cup in 2023, losing in the final to Algeria’s USMA.

The extension allows Gamondi to further enhance his already legacy at the club. Another successful season particularly at the continental stage will give him legendary status at the club.

A subsequent successful campaign will raise his stock even further just like it did to his predecessor. African elite clubs will certainly take note of him once again.

Before joining Young Africans, Gamondi's major achievement was in 2008 when he guided South Africa's Platinum Stars to the round of 16 stages of the CAF Confederation Cup. This is possibly a career-high opportunity to cement his coaching legacy in Africa.

The same applies to the club. Most likely, the feeling about the renewal will be mutual. That the Young Africans faithful both in the boardroom and at the stands believe in and trust Gamondi to deliver is a given.

Young Africans’ move to extend Gamondi’s reign shows their ambition to maintain their position as a dominant force in Tanzanian football.

Their approach is in stark contrast to the uncertainty engulfing Simba, highlighting the contrasting paths the two Tanzanian giants are currently on.

Wananchi are striving for stability and continuity with Gamondi, while their archrivals Simba face turmoil on and off the pitch.

Clearly, the overwhelming majority of the fans around are loving life under Gamondi. And the man himself loves the Young Africans dugout too.