El Hadji DioufShina Oludare

Diouf: Ex-Liverpool forward named Guediawaye FC sporting director

Guediawaye Football Club have confirmed the appointment of former Liverpool forward El Hadji Diouf as the club’s sporting director.

Five years after calling time on his playing career, the two-time African Player of the Year will commence life as an administrator with the Senegalese second division outfit.

There, the 39-year-old, who also starred for Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers, among several clubs during his active days, will be aiming to help the Dakar-based outfit return to the Senegal Premier League at the end of the 2020-21 campaign.

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Following the sacking of former president Pape Thialiss Faye, Guediawaye FC - a team that emerged as champions of the 2014 Coupe de la Ligue - are embarking on a long-term project of establishing themselves in the top tier.

"We have new mechanisms in place to move forward, with a management team, a college for the management of the club. In the college, the novelty is the creation of a position of Sports Director for which we negotiated and obtained the appointment of El Hadj Ousseynou Diouf," said club’s communication chief Malick Sy per Lesoleil.sn.

Should they achieve their aim of earning a berth in Senegal's top flight, Sy further revealed the club are eyeing a place in a continental competition in three years’ time, while their five-year target will be to have a full training centre.

Diouf was part of the Senegalese golden generation that helped the West African country finish as runners-up at the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations in Mali, before making their World Cup debut in South Korea and Japan, where they stunned reigning world champions France in their opening game.

The outspoken forward was hot property back in 2002, with Reds coach Gerard Houllier moving early that summer to secure his signature in a £10 million ($13m) deal from Ligue 1 side RC Lens.

He was, however, to flop badly on Merseyside, recording just six goals in his debut campaign and none in his second. Nevertheless, he would go on to enjoy some success in England with the likes of Bolton and Blackburn, but he was seldom the same player at club level as for his country.

His last active involvement in football was as a player for Malaysian side Sabah FC during the 2014/2015 season, and he was also once invited by Senegal coach Aliou Cisse to assist in the training of the Senegal senior national team on a part-time basis.