When Morocco’s RS Berkane enter the Total 2019-20 CAF Confederation Cup final against Egypt's Pyramids this Sunday (25 October 2020) in Rabat, they will be guided by a real talent, who moved with his brilliance from the pitch to the sidelines.
Ex-international Tarik Sektioui is one of the youngest Moroccan coaches. The 43 years old started his playing career in the domestic league and then in Europe, before deciding to start a coaching career after retirement.
Born in Fez, he started playing football at the local cub Maghreb de Fes. Sektioui then moved to French Side AJ Auxerre, before joining several clubs in Switzreland, The Netherlands and Portugal, including Neuchâtel Xamax, Willem II, AZ Alkmaar and FC Porto.
It was with the latest that he made a resounding name both in Europe and at home. With Porto, Sektiuoui was a key player of the 2007–08 squad who won Portugal’s Premier League title with five games to spare, under the guidance of Coach Jesualdo Ferreira. Sektioui also had a moment to remember in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, scoring a beauty against France’s Olympique de Marseille, after rounding five defenders and dribbling past the goalkeeper to score a goal he will never forget.
"I am proud and satisfied with my playing career, as I scored so many unforgettable goals. Maybe the saddest memory was to miss the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France due to an injury that was about to cost me my career. But I am satisfied with what I achieved. I reached the UEFA Cup semifinal with AZ Alkmaar, and I won three Portuguese League and two Portuguese Cup titles with Porto,” Sektioui told CAFonline.com
With Morocco, he won the 1997 African Youth Championship and participated in the Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana 2008. In 2011 he came back home to play for his first club, hometown's Maghreb de Fes where he retired.
His 12-year rich experience as a professional player in Europe motivated Sektioui to start a coaching career. He quickly joined Mohammed VI Football Academy, before leading several Moroccan clubs.
"As a player who have played under some great managers, I have always thought of becoming a coach after retirement. I want to serve Moroccan football and share my experience with the young footballers in my country. When I coached at the Academy, I had to get up at 5:00 am and go back home at 8:00 pm. Patience, commitment and hard work have always been my principles," he added.
Sektioui became the coach of his boyhood club Maghreb de Fes in 2016, where he made a glorious achievement, winning the Throne Cup in the same year despite playing in the second division then. He successfully led Wydad Fes and Maghreb Tetouan, saving both sides from regelation. At that time, he quickly attracted the attention of RS Berkane's officials.
"I took charge of RS Berkane who were the Total CAF Confederation Cup runner ups. It was a big challenge as I had to maintain the team’s high level. But with hard work, sacrifice and the support of the club's officials, we have done a great job so far, competing for the league title until the last round, and reaching the CAF Confederation Cup final.
"We are ready to fight for our dream and win the CAF Confederation Cup title. We have all the potential and abilities to make our supporters and all the Moroccan fans happy, although we know it is not an easy task," Sektioui concluded.
He remains as one of the most successful Moroccan players who started from a local club and played in top European leagues. His experience is now shared with young footballers, to whom Sektioui is an example to follow.