As Hienghène prepare to defend their Coupe de Calédonie title against AS Magenta this evening, they do so with the additional influence of new assistant coach Kevin Coma on the bench alongside Felix Tagawa.
The former coach of Gaïtcha made his debut with the Northern Province club during the semi-final of the Coupe de Caledonie against Patho.
The 31-year-old from the South of France holds a diploma in fitness training and has spent several years developing his tactical knowledge of the game which Tagawa is keen to utilise.
“I listed the areas of recovery and ball losses,” he explained of his role.
“It’s good to have written analysis. It allows Felix to adjust his instructions at half-time as well as how he addresses the players at the end of the match and in training.”
Coma is the former coach of Montpellier’s women’s team, leading them to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Women’s Champions League in 2009. He has worked with Magenta in New Caledonia as well as Gaïtcha, who he led to the 2015 OFC Champions League semi-final.
He said the move to Hienghene was a sudden one.
“It happened very quickly,” Coma explained.
“I know Felix well. I was his assistant and fitness trainer during the qualifiers for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in 2013. With him, it’s very structured, he knows what he want.”
Coma said he is embarking on a six-month journey with Hienghène which will take him to the end of the OFC Champions League group stage in 2017.
“I’ll be in charge of the physical preparation of several players from Hienghène who will be based in Noumea, preparation, and also future recruits.
“Maybe I will also be asked to follow our adversaries. We will see. I’m at the disposal of the club.”
Coma said he’s enjoying this new adventure very much as it offers exposure to a different way of doing things than he’s experienced in the past.
“The welcome was great. I will continue to live in Noumea where I’m a coach, but I’ll go up to the north regularly,” Coma said.
“I am very happy to be with Hienghène. For me, it’s magic.”
For more on New Caledonia football visit www.fedcalfoot.com
Additional reporting provided by Les Nouvelles Caledoniennes www.lnc.nc