Ivory Coast's Football Factory
Often referred to as one of Africa’s top academies, the Association Sportive des Employes de Commerce Mimosas (ASEC Mimosas) is the most successful side in Ivorian football. The club, located in Abidjan, has won the Ivorian Premier Division a total of 24 times, along with the CAF Champions League in 1998.
The club’s academy has produced numerous famous players: notably Yaya Toure, Emmanuel Eboue, Salomon Kalou, Gervinho, Kolo Toure, Siaka Tiene, Lacina Traore, and Didier Ya Konan. Two thirds of the national side’s 2006 World Cup squad had come from Asec’s Sol Beni academy, founded in 1994 by Asec chairman Roger Ouegnin and former French international captain, Jean-Marc Guillou. However, in recent years there has been a lack of fan support despite league success, with players looking for the quickest way to escape to Europe.
Former players have decided to re-invest in the place where their footballing careers started, with hopes that it will become the best football club in Africa. Changes were quick to follow, with a full force marketing campaign to fill the seats once again and the board promising fans that the team will play a very entertaining style of football. A stark contrast from the current defensive nature of the squad under former manager Siaka Traore, whose contract was up at the end of last season after leading the club to the league title.
There had been a lot of interest in filling the vacancy, and the board decided to go with former player Aruna Dindane.
Dindane had just recently announced the end of his playing career after a couple of brief stints in the Qatari league. The board felt that the 32 year old former national team striker, who had been capped 62 times for his country would be the perfect choice to work with a relatively young squad.
This story will have a monthly update structure to document the rise of the club, with the goal of becoming a dynasty at the continental level.