LISCR FC’s Gambian head coach, Tapha Manneh, has been recognized for his work in leading his team to be the Liberia Football Association’s First Division and FA Cup Champions.
Currently, on a two-month vacation, Manneh was recognized by the Gambia Coaches Association over the weekend.
In 2016, Manneh became the first Gambian head coach to work out of the Gambia when he joined LISCR on a three-year deal. As a CAF license B holder and a newcomer to the league, there were doubts that he could bring back the club’s glory days.
Aside from being new to Liberian football, the Gambian tactician made several changes to the LISCR squad by releasing several older players and bringing onboard younger players, mostly from the third and second division.
The decision sparked debates among football fans, who argued that the team wouldn’t be able to compete with the likes of Barrack Young Controllers and FC Fassell for titles.
However, Tapha Manneh went against all odds as he led his youthful LISCR to double titles at the end of the season, as he led the Gardnersville-based club through the league season unbeaten in 22 matches.
He became the first coach to set such record and LISCR became the only team to play the league season unbeaten. His only defeat in the 2016-17 season came against Keitrace FC in the first leg of the FA Cup semifinals. He lost 3-2 in the first leg and came back strong in the return leg by winning 3-0 to move to the final where he won the FA Cup after guiding LISCR to a 3-0 win over ELWA United.
Since winning the double in his season in Liberian football, Manneh has been described as a hero by Gambians in and out for the Gambia.
Manneh will return to Liberia on the 22nd of October to begin preparations for the upcoming season. Now that he has shown his class, the LISCR FC’s boss is expected to face tougher competition in the upcoming season with many local coaches planning to put an end to his dominance.
First, Manneh has to guide his team through the CAF Champions League, where he will be hoping to enter the group stage.
Featured photo courtesy of Tapha Manneh