Bertrand Marchand Appointed New Tunisia Coach

The Frenchman has been given the task of guiding the Carthage Eagles to the 2012 African Cup of Nations semi-finals at minimum.

At a press conference in Tunis today, FTF spokesman Anouar Haddad revealed that the Federal Bureau had selected Bertrand Marchand to become coach of the Tunisian national team for the next two years, with a one-year extension option based on the side’s performances.

Although the financial details of the contract were not revealed, the former Etoile Sportive du Sahel tactician has reportedly been set a minimum goal of reaching the semi-finals of the 2012 African Cup of Nations.

“After a number of discussions between Ali Hafsi, the FTF president, and four foreign coaches, we’ve chosen Bertrand Marchand to coach the national team for a two year period with an option to extend the contract in case of good performances,” he said.

Marchand briefly spoke to Mosaique FM after leaving FTF headquarters and made it clear that he was extremely pleased to return to the north African country and take over the team after he came close to replacing Roger Lemerre two years ago.

“First of all this is a country that I love and if I came back it’s not about money. I didn’t want to go anywhere else and wouldn’t have exchanged this for another destination. Tunisia is close to my heart and for me this is an interesting challenge,” he said.

“We’re going to need to work very hard to improve things. Those who came before me have given what they could and I will give my maximum. I can tell you that before Tunisian football, I love Tunisia and know the country and people well. If I came back it's to help them.”

On its official website, the FTF also noted that Marchand would be assisted by Sami Trabelsi who has been acting as caretaker coach ever since Faouzi Benzarti returned to Esperance after the 2010 African Cup of Nations. Trabelsi is currently in Morocco with the Tunisian CHAN side that plays a qualifier against the Atlas Lions on Saturday.

Marchand will begin his new job on Thursday when he returns from a brief trip to his native France.

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