Despite only 37, Frenchman Julien Mette has been coaching since the age of 20. Mette made headlines last month when he guided lowly ranked Djibouti to victory over Eswatini in the preliminary round of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifiers.
The 2-1 win in the first leg, Djibouti’s first since March 2017, was enough for the Shoremen of the Red Sea, after a barren draw in the return leg in Manzini, saw them go through by a same result on aggregate.
Now, Mette is hoping to guide Djibouti to another giant-killing feat over Gambia in the preliminary round of the qualifiers for the Total Africa Cup of Nations Cameroon 2021. Djibouti host the first leg on Wednesday in Djibouti City with the return due for Bakau four days later, with the winner after both legs proceeding to the group stage.
CAFOnline.com caught with the ambitious Mette ahead of the Gambia for an exclusive interview. Below are excerpts;
CAFOnline.com: After your impressive performance in the qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, are you under pressure ahead of your match against Gambia in the preliminary rounds of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations?
Julien Mette: The only pressure we have is to give to our fans. We want to make them proud. Regarding the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, we are relaxed in our head. We know we won't compete in only friendly games in 2020 but also six official international games so it's only happiness for a small country and team like us. The pressure is on Gambia who have an obligation to qualify.