Dumas: I want to coach in Thailand

By
Updated: May 15, 2016
Franck Dumas Monaco

Former Monaco star Franck Dumas is eyeing a coaching job in Thailand as he seeks a fresh challenge in a career that has seen him play with and under some of the biggest names in world football.

Defender Dumas was something of an unsung hero in the star-studded Monaco side of the 1990s, which, at various times, included the likes of Jurgen Klinsmann, Lilian Thuram, Youri Djorkaeff and a youthful Thierry Henry and David Trezeguet.

He captained Monaco – featuring Henry, Trezeguet, Fabien Barthez and Emmanuel Petit – to the French title in 1997.

And the following year, he was part of the side that reached the Champions League semi-final, having defeated Manchester United at Old Trafford in the last eight.

Dumas also played for Newcastle United and Marseille before beginning his coaching career with SM Caen, the club which gave him his chance as a player.

Having played under Arsene Wenger and Bobby Robson, he learnt from some of the best in the business. Now he wants to test himself in a new footballing environment after 11 years as a coach in France and Morocco.

“I like a challenge in an unfamiliar place and I very much see Asia as a future footballing power,” Dumas told ThaiGoals at Thammasat Stadium (top picture), after the recent match between Bangkok United and Nakhon Ratchasima.  “I have been very pleasantly surprised by the level in Thailand. There is a mixture of Thai and foreign coaches and players and it’s good that foreign coaches can have the chance to help improve the level.

“I would love the opportunity to work here and share my knowledge. I first went abroad as a coach in Morocco and it was a great experience. I’m eager to work somewhere new again and Asia holds great appeal.”

Dumas has been to several matches on his recent trip to Thailand. He has been impressed by the level of play among the Thai players and sees much potential. He has also noted that there is a focus on youth, which suits his passion for developing young players.

“There is clearly a strategy and they are building a good infrastructure for the future,” he added. “They are also developing a particular style of football. The Thais like to keep the ball on the ground so you don’t see any kick and rush here. They want to play entertaining football.”

In his seven years as head coach of SM Caen, Dumas faced challenging financial conditions as the club fluctuated between Ligue 1 and Ligue 2. The Frenchman would be unlikely to last anything like as long with a club in the Premier League of Thailand, with its habit of hiring and firing. But Dumas is not put off by the fact that job prospects here are rarely long-term.

“I prefer to think positively,” he said. “I love to commit myself to a club, working with the players at all levels. I don’t believe a football club is just about the first team, it’s about the collective and everyone should be pulling in the same direction for the good of the club.

“Whether or not you get to stay for a short or long time, that’s a separate issue. If you can help the club progress, that’s the main thing.”

While adapting to a new culture would take some adjustments, Dumas strongly believes that the fundamentals of football management don’t change.

“Wherever you are, the job of a coach is much the same,” he said. “You’ll have all kinds of different characters in the dressing room and you have to get to know each player and make everyone feel that they are an important part of the squad, whether they are regular starters or on the bench.”

Having played with many big name players in the 1990s, Dumas knows all about differences in character but when asked about his most gifted team-mate, he chose Thierry Henry (pictured below), a precocious talent who broke into the Monaco first team at the age of 17.

Thierry Henry

“When he started playing with us, he was a great kid,” Dumas said. “He was very respectful of the more senior players, which is very important. He liked to talk to us and he wanted to listen and learn.”

As well as playing with some superstars, Dumas was coached by some big names and learned a little from each of them. His first influence was the lesser known Daniel Jeandupeux, his coach at the start of his career at SM Caen.

“Daniel instilled in me the importance of enjoying football and, while we were professionals, he stressed that it was still just a game,” Dumas said. “Then there was Arsene Wenger at Monaco who taught me how to live as a professional. He taught me how to live a better life to maximise performance, like eating the right food, getting enough rest and so on. He also focused on the individual’s responsibility as part of a team.

“After that, I played under Bobby Robson at Newcastle. He was a bit of a father figure but he was tough when he had to be – hard but fair. These guys had a mixture of strengths and I try and apply the best of each to my own character as a coach.”

With a clear passion for the game and a mischievous glint in his eye, Dumas will certainly add some colour to the Thai football scene if he gets the right opportunity. And if he can successfully combine the best of Wenger and Robson, the players here will learn a lot from him.

Paul Murphy is an independent football writer who contributes to several publications about the game in Southeast Asia. He lives in Bangkok.

 

Image: AS Monaco

One Comment

  1. Raymond Donnelly

    May 16, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    Interesting article ……remember him from his Monaco days. I think John Collins formerly of Celtic was in the team at the same time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Thai Goals, ThaiGoals, Thailand Soccer, Thai Football, Premier League of Thailand, Thai Fixtures, Thailand National Team, Thai Grounds, Thai Division One

Thai Goals

Thai Regional League, Thai FA Cup, Thai League Cup, AFC Champions League, AFC

ThaiGoals, Thailand Soccer, Thai Football, Premier League of Thailand, Thai Fixtures

Thailand National Team, Thai Grounds, Thai Division One, Thai Regional League, Thai FA Cup, Thai League Cup

ThaiGoals, Thailand Soccer, Thai Football, Premier League of Thailand, Thai Fixtures
Thai Regional League, Thai FA Cup, Thai League Cup, AFC Champions League, AFC
Thai Goals, Thailand National Team, Thai Grounds, Thai Division One, Thai Regional League, Thai FA Cup, Thai League Cup< ThaiGoals, Thailand Soccer, Thai Football, Premier League of Thailand, Thai Fixtures ThaiGoals, Thailand Soccer, Thai Football, Premier League of Thailand, Thai Fixtures
Web Statistics