By Leocadia Bongben*
Former Cameroon captain, Rigobert Song, who suffered a brain aneurysm ten months ago, is preparing for his first coaching mission with the home-based national Cameroon side.
The local Indomitable Lions are away to Sao Tome and Principe on Saturday in the first leg of the latest round of qualifiers for the African Nations Championship (CHAN) – a tournament which is contested by footballers playing in their own domestic league.
Song has called up 20 players for the two-legged tie.
“Initially I had no idea about Sao Tome and Principe, but I have done my homework to know their playing style,” Song told BBC Sport.
“I have prepared my team to help them give their best performance and put our opponents in difficulty”.
Song resumed his coaching job just months after suffering the brain aneurysm which almost claimed his life.
The legendary defender took ill in October 2016 and was hospitalised in Yaoundé where his condition stabilised before he was taken to Paris.
He returned home in April and after some months, resumed duty as head coach of the local based squad.
He insists he has recovered and says he is fit enough to resume his coaching duties.
“My situation today is ok, I can say I am 80 percent fit already,” said Song.
“People should stop thinking that cheating death means I no longer have a normal life.
“I feel good and with my staff we are working for better results,” he added.
As he now embarks on the weekend’s CHAN qualifier, he does admit to being a novice in the coaching arena.
“It is my first time, but I have worked hard with my assistant coaches and we will try our best.
“We have confidence our players will put up their best performance” Song said.
Song played 137 times for his country and had spells with English clubs Liverpool and West Ham.
Before taking up his present role, Song signed up as the national coach of Chad in 2015 but his stay was short-lived.