In the aftermath of the disaster that was our Afcon 2015 campaign, Fufa head Moses Magogo said we had been done in by various things like the lack of playing and coaching resources and facilities. I found that to be a very candid assessment, but it also sounded like a song we had heard before.
Only this time there was an appreciation that it just isn’t enough to apportion blame without suggesting solutions. And so, project Cameroon 2019 came to life.
Fast forward to 2018 and two games into our Afcon 2019 qualification campaign, we are on course to meet the objectives of Project Cameroon 2019.
That by the way isn’t something that can be taken for granted. We are not well known for being meticulous executioners of our plans. But here we are gunning for our second straight Afcon.
I like being here in a place where the results of our actions are clearly evident. What this does to us is set for us new minimum standards and heightens our ambitions. It demonstrates what is possible.
For example, I like it that even if we sit top of Group L and are favorites to qualify, disapproving murmurs about our inability to prevail over Tanzania last weekend, still linger. We aren’t satisfied with being favorites. We want an explanation on why we almost paid the ultimate price against Tanzania.
It is almost as if we are saying this isn’t acceptable for a team for whom qualification is a given. We are thinking like the big boys do. We are talking about who of Moses Waiswa and Kizito Luwagga to deploy, or whether to deploy one or two holding midfielders, but no longer about how or if we shall qualify. That mindset change is what appeals to me and I trace it back to the setting of targets in 2015
Back then we identified where we lacked and that pushed us into such answers as grooming better clubs, developing coaching capacity investing in underage teams. The consequence of that was a football-image boost which in turn is attracting sponsorships. They are all linked these things.
What we see now are the fruits of our deliberate actions.
Still, progress is not an event but a process. We must continue to do the things we are doing right until our current ceiling becomes our new minimum. We must go beyond just qualifying and start to think about winning the thing. And I really would love to see us at the World Cup too.
But first there is the double header versus Lesotho and a home game against Cape Verde in a few weeks. If we take all these games for granted like we did last weekend, we shall pay the price. But if we see every game as an individual stepping stone on our onward journey then we shall be well on our way to achieving what we said Project Cameroon 2019 would deliver. And after that, on to bigger and better things. Whatever we do we must keep moving.