02 June 2018 09:16
With two matches to the end of the season, Jaraaf have won the 2017/2018 Senegalese Ligue 1 after a lone goal victory over Stade de Mbour on Monday (28 May 2018) in Dakar.
The victory moved Jaraaf to 56 points, 16 points richer than closest rivals Generation Foot, who have played four matches less. Victory for Generation Foot, last season’s league and who celebrated the knockout title last week, will produce 12 points, and won’t be enough to overtake Jaraaf at the summit.
It is the 12th league title for the club based in Medina, a suburb in the capital, Dakar, and their second since the advent of professionalism after the 2010 feat.
When asked about the achievement, coach Malick Daff, who had previously won the national championship in 2005 with Port Autonome of Dakar, noted that the season was difficult, but "our team stood tall above the rest”.
“There have been a lot of criticisms but we did not give up in strictly keeping to our roadmap,” said the former international player, in his second season at the helm.
“For a team like Jaraaf, only the league title is worthy to the supporters; we had to keep a deaf ear and focus on working methodically and in an organised manner,” he emphasised.
On the part of the President of the club, the former international goalkeeper, Cheikh Seck, he said: “we are happy to have grabbed the crown which has been evading the team since 2010.
“First of all, we have had to maintain the structure of our team from the last season, because winning a title also entails successfully keeping achievements", the former keeper of the Teranga Lions explains.
“We have also been able to attract good players as the international goalkeeper Pape Seydou Ndiaye," he noted while praising his coach who made it all happen.
“It is a deserved title looking at the season globally in line with our track record of winning 17 matches, striking 5 draws and loosing 3 encounters.
As concerns the participation of the capital-based club in next year’s Total CAF Champions League, the former goalie who long spell with Tunisia’s Esperance during his playing days, declared that that the team will take on the competition with "a lot of humility."
“We neither have the means nor the experience of the big African clubs, but that does not mean we should not be ambitious", he cautioned.