African Nations Cup finalists Ethiopia
Factbox on African Nations Cup finalists Ethiopia ahead of this year’s tournament in South Africa from Jan. 19 to Feb. 10:
Previous appearances in African Nations Cup finals: 9
Best performances: Winners in 1962; Runners-up in 1957
FIFA world ranking Dec 2012: 110
Sewnet Bishaw will be among seven local coaches in charge of their national teams at the 2013 finals. The 60-year-old worked briefly as a club coach at Al Ahli Sanaa in Yemen but has spent most of his coaching career at a variety of Ethiopia’s top clubs and has had two separate spells in charge of the national team.
Saladin Seid (Wadi Degla). Age: 24. Pos: Forward
Author of vital goals for Ethiopia over the last year in both African Nations Cup and World Cup qualifying. He was top scorer in the Ethiopia league in 2008 and 2009 and moved for a country record transfer fee of 240,000 dollars to Egypt in 2011 after failing in trials at Serbian club Partizan Belgrade.
Adane Girma (St George). Age: 27 Pos: Midfielder
Player who is the pulse of the side, running the game from midfield but frequently pushing forward to get himself into good attacking positions. In 2011 he was top scorer in the Ethiopian league and was named the best player. He has won four league titles with St George over the last six years.
Yussuf Saleh (Syrianska). Age: 28 Pos: Winger.
Swedish-born winger recently plucked from the diaspora as Ethiopia went in search of players with links to their country to strengthen their side. Played previously at AIK Solna and had a brief spell in the Spanish second division.
Ethiopia are in the finals for the first time in more than 30 years and will be a unknown quantity. Dominated by home-based players and lacking experience at this level of competition, they are expected to struggle, even if they have managed a major improvement in form. They will draw heart from the fact that their last game in South Africa in June was a 1-1 draw with their hosts in World Cup qualifying. (