Friday Jul 23, 2021. 09:00
Welsh coach Osian Roberts, who has stepped down from his position at the Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF), believes the Atlas Lions could be ranked inside the world’s top 20 in the future.
The 57-year-old formerly worked with the Welsh national team as an assistant coach to Gary Speed, Chris Coleman and Ryan Giggs, before leaving the Dragons in 2019 to take up a role with the FRMF.
Initially set for a five-year stay with the North African nation, Roberts is stepping away from his post after just two years but believes he has put in place a structure which will see Moroccan football prosper.
“I am optimistic for football in FRMF. I believe it could be a football nation among the top 20 in the world,” he told BBC Sport Africa.
“I have put a foundation in place… but there is a lot of work still to do.”
He added, “My two years in Morocco has been an incredible experience in a beautiful country with lovely people and I have great friends here. I leave with many happy memories.”
During his tenure, Morocco retained the African Nations Championship (CHAN), won the Futsal Africa Cup of Nations, and qualified for the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations for the first time since 2005.
Roberts also helped set up courses for coaches seeking Confederation of African Football (CAF) recognised licenses.
“Morocco was the first African nation to be accepted into CAF Coaching Convention following official evaluation of the A Licence courses we run,” he explained.
“Our CAF Pro Licence courses continued to be formulated and will be finalised in September 2021 (despite being laid due to Covid-19) and we have started the first ever African CAF B Fast Track courses for ex-internationals.
“I also created new and specific courses for the Botola Pro (Moroccan league) youth coaches and technical directors to help implement an overall philosophy within the clubs to help transition of players from clubs to national teams.”