Swiss club welcomes young Ivorian soccer stars

By  | 28 November 2010 at 01:21 | 2238 views

The Belgian team, KSK Beveren, has, for a couple of years now, been the stepping stone for Ivorian football players trying to make their way in Europe. Now it isn’t Beveren any more that attract players from Ivory Coast; it is a club even more prestigious.

Young Boys Bern, one of Switzerland’s top clubs, delights everyone with it’s mix of European and African football. It all began in 2006, when the German coach Gernot Rohr attracted Ivorian international Gilles Yapi Yapo (photo) to Bern.

The next summer, Bern’s manager feared to lose Yapo after his great performances in Switzerland. In search of a successor, Bern made a deal with Olivier Koutoua, owner of Abidjan’s football academy Athlétic Adjamé and transferred the 18-year-old Thierry Doubaï.

Both sides, Koutoua and Bern, went into an intensive partnership and collaboration from then on. 16- and 17-year old talents come to Bern now regularly to undergo a trial.

In 2008 Seydou Doumbia followed his fellow-countrymen. One year later, Youssouf Traoré, called "Maestro" arrived and in January 2010 Hassan Lingani showed up, followed, this summer, by Pascal Doubaï, the younger brother of Thierry.

Although currently frustrated by injuries, the Ivorian talents are a big win for Bern. Especially Thierry Doubaï and Seydou Doumbia who have been greta assets. Doumbia scored 50 goals in two seasons and has been transferred to CSKA Moscow for 10 million euros.

Meanwhile Doubaï is back after many injuries and is on his way to make Bern’s fans forget about Yapi, who switched to rival FC Basel last summer. Bern is going to reinvest Doumbia millions in Koutoua’s academy, hoping for a continuation of luck and success with the young Ivorian soccer talents.