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Wadsworth’s rumble in the jungle

posted by – February 11th, 2012

By Mark Lomas

The unpredictable nature of African football and the transience of the continent’s national team jobs are usually best manifested at the biennial Nations Cup. Equatorial Guinea provided a fine example this year when they hired Vasco de Gama academy coach Paulo Gilson as their boss just two weeks before the tournament after behind-the-scenes politics saw seasoned veteran Henri Michel twice resign. It should have been a disastrous appointment, but the co-hosts – the worst-ranked team at the tournament – defied expectations by beating both Libya and Senegal to earn a place in the quarter-finals.


Mick Wadsworth DR Congo

GettyImagesEx-Newcastle assistant Mick Wadsworth was surprisingly appointed DR Congo coach for the 2004 African Nations Cup


However, the African Nations Cup path does not always run so smoothly.

Just over eight years ago, English coach Mick Wadsworth decided it was time to broaden his football horizons. The furthest afield the Yorkshireman’s managerial career had previously taken him was Colchester, though he was able to boast experience of working in Bobby Robson’s England set-up and under the late, great boss as assistant manager at Newcastle United.

It was a link to the Magpies that would open up an unexpected door in November

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