The Portuguese Ivo Campos, assistant coach at Bravos do Maquis, Angola’s first division team, is the foreigner for more consecutive times to train in the country and confessed to Lusa that he has no plans to return to Portugal.
“I built something in Angola that I never thought I could achieve so quickly, I conquered people with my work, I feel that I am part of the evolution of Angolan football, I work and I do my best to be recognized as someone who did something for the country” , said the 38-year-old, who is preparing his eighth consecutive season at Girabola.
Ivo Campos is still the only foreigner to take part in the leadership of the Angolan National Football Coaches Association and although “nobody is sure about tomorrow,” he feels “happy” and sees no reason to change his country, where he lives with his wife and daughter.
Since 2012 in the African country, the native Portuguese of Vila Pouca de Aguiar, district of Vila Real, was a physical trainer in the first two seasons at Interclube, with Bernardino Pedroto, and since 2014 he has been part of the technical team of Zeca Amaral, first in Benfica in Luanda , and currently in the Braves of the Maquis, club that represents since 2017 like assistant coach.
The ‘adventure’ in Angola started with Portuguese coach Bernardino Pedroto, son of former Porto player and coach José Maria Pedroto, figures of Angolan and Portuguese football that the Transmontano has always admired.
“Bernardino Pedroto still maintains the record of titles in Angola, is idolized, and it was he who launched me into this professional life and I owe him a lot in terms of experiences, experiences and above all in the passion and understanding of the current social world,” he said, also confessing that he was always an admirer of the “ideas, methodologies of training and observation” of his father, José Maria Pedroto.
Currently in the Angolan technical team Zeca Amaral, Ivo Campos explained that being with one of the “most respected coaches in the country” is important for his career.
“I feel that I am part of your personal project, but above all I realize that I am important in building national football through it,” he said.
The move to Braves do Maquis, a team from Luena (Moxico), about 1,200 kilometers from Luanda, is seen as an “internal assessment” for the technical staff, who work in “humbler conditions in terms of facilities or even logistics”.
“We want to do something we’ve never done, that is ‘get inside the club’ and provide our ideas and experiences logistically, in terms of management, and participation in almost every department we’ve created at the club,” he explained.
In preparation for the 2019 Girabola season, Bravos do Maquis’ third consecutive season, the goal of the seventh-season coaching team of the previous season is “to improve the classification and fight for the Angola Cup”.
The financial crisis that “plagued the country” in 2014 ended with “the time of the ‘fat cows’ in Angolan football,” but for Ivo Campos, “times of exaggeration had to end.”
“We are forced to say that these crises are lacking for professionalism not only for coaches and athletes but for all departments, which was hard to find from these sides,” he said.
With a higher education in Physical Education and Sport, the Portuguese coach stressed that “being a coach outside Europe requires a lot of extra work” and that “in Africa everything changes in relation to European methods and studies”.
“Working conditions, logistics conditions, planning conditions, but above all the many social, cultural, food and religious concerns, basically lead us to ‘study’ again to be high income on another continent,” he assured .
Preparing for the eighth consecutive season in Angola, Ivo Campos plans to write a book about “stories and adventures” in Angolan football when he reaches ten years of work in Africa.