Coach Wani rallies support for Bright Stars ahead of AFCON tourney

Coach Wani rallies support for Bright Stars ahead of AFCON tourney
Bright Stars junior players celebrate Jonathan Ajoung’s opener against Tanzania in the CECAFA Zonal Qualifiers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. [Photo: SSFA]

The new head coach of Bright Stars U-20, Peter James Wani, urged the nation’s football fans to rally behind the team as they prepare for their AFCON debut in Egypt next month.

Wani was appointed last week after South Sudan’s football association fired the previous team’s head coach, Charles John Guit.

Guit, who led the team to its first appearance in the centennial event, was fired by SSFA due to “administrative issues.”

Wani’s hiring came as the team was putting the finishing touches on the continental game.

In an exclusive interview with The City Review, Wani vowed to face the obstacles head-on and ensure the success of the junior team.

“I think our appointment is in the interest of the federation to achieve something at the end of the day. “Because the team came a long way; they qualified, and they deserve good results in AFCON,” Wani said.

He advised the supporters to truly support the team rather than criticising if South Sudan is to succeed.

“Football is not about hope; but about hard work. “We need to work hard, and the fans have a great role to play in strengthening and raising the morale of the players.”

“We expect the fans to stand behind the team, give them support, provide a positive environment, and not say anything negative about the team,” Wani, who is currently the senior men’s team assistant coach, continued.

“Morally, right now is not the time for judgment or evaluation,” the U20 head coach continued, “but it is time for everyone to give whatever kind of support they can within their capacity in order for the team to perform.” 

Who is Wani?

He is a South Sudanese professional coach with CAF License “B”. He started his coaching career in Sudan, Khartoum, with a team called Al Hilal, Sudan, and is currently the assistant coach for the South Sudan national men’s team.

This year, he signed out of Gudele FC after spending less than three months with the team.

In 2022, he coached Kator FC, keeping them successful in the top flight of the Juba division league, while in 2021, Coach Wani also coached Juba’s Club Al Hilal.

Other teams he coach are Malakia Juba in 2013, 2014 he was the head coach of Salam Wau, Wani coached also Atlabara in 2012,

He boasts of winning the Ramadan Cup with Kator and managed to keep Gudele FC Al Hilal from being relegated to the second division in Juba’s Kony-Kony League.

He is also described as a “talent grower,” in the sense that he was able to produce some great players who are now playing for the national team.