By Basil Afoni
Coaching the Indomitable Lions has proven to be the most difficult job in Volker Finke’s 40-year career.
Although the German tactician qualified Cameroon for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and the 2015 AFCON in Equatorial Guinea, the outcome of both tourneys have been as poor as the general performance archived by Finke in his 40 years managerial career.
The Post takes a look at Finke’s managerial career from July 1, 1991 to the present date.
From July 1, 1991 to June 30, 2007, Volker Finke was the coach of SC Freiburg. Under Finke, Freiburg played 605 matches, recorded 243 victories, 143 draws and 219 defeats, giving a success rate of 40.12 percent. During his reign, SC Freiburg won five trophies. He was later sacked after 16 years at the helm of the club.
On December 6, 2008, Finke signed for Japanese J. League Division I side, Urawa Red Diamonds. Although Finke failed to win any trophy with the club, he enjoyed the best spell of his managerial career as far as performance was concerned. Urawa Red Diamonds, under Finke’s stewardship, played 82 games, 37 wins, 13 draws and 32 defeats, giving a success rate of 45.5 percent, the best in Finke’s managerial career.
With just some few weeks to the end of his contract with Urawa Red Diamonds, Finke was appointed Sporting Director of Cologne.
“Finke has proven in the past that he can put together and enhance teams strategically and conceptually,” read an announcement on Cologne’s website then. After the sacking of Frank Schaefer, Finke took over the managerial role in Cologne and guided the team to the end of the season winning all remaining three matches – registering a 100 percent success.
Cameroon, four times African champions, have played 29 games under Finke, recording nine wins, 12 draws and eight defeats, giving a success rate of 31.03 percent – the worst in Finke’s career.
Many expected him to be sacked after the Lions’ 2014 disastrous World Cup campaign in Brazil, but the German survived the storm and led the Lions to another charade in Equatorial Guinea.
Probably, in order to avoid the stigma of being seen as a country notorious for the sacking of coaches and in order to avoid paying damages because of breach of contract, the Cameroon Football Federation, FECAFOOT, has put up with the German to see out his contract. He might, however, be shown the way out of the Lion’s den when his contract expires on May 24, 2015.
The former German Army Lieutenant might be hoping that his contract will be extended, but it has been widely reported that the search for his successor has been launched.
On May 22, 2013, Finke was named Coach of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon – the fourth German to occupy the post after Peter Schnittger (1970-1973), Winfried Schafer (2001-2004), and Otto Pfister (2007-2009).
News of Finke’s appointment was not welcomed by some Cameroonians. According to former Indomitable Lions’ goal poacher, Albert Roger Milla, Finke was not qualified to lead the Lions.