Tom Saintfiet became the youngest, at 24, to coach in homeland Belgium.
He never wastes time jumping ship. He has one silverware to show for his career which started in 2002. His success rate is 44 percent. In 159 games, he has registered 70 wins, 51 losses and 38 draws.
Since 2008, he has managed seven national teams and clubs, at times, lasting just two games.
Is this man compatible with the Flames’ volunteer job having offered his services starting with the Cosafa Tournament which starts in Lusaka, Zambia on Saturday to the decisive 2014 World Cup African qualifier in Nigeria on September 6 2013?
Nation’s research suggests that Saintfiet demands professionalism, lest he jumps ship. In the seven jobs, he resigned four times, was fired twice and forced out once. Current caretaker assistant coaches Ernest Mtawali and Patrick Mabedi have questioned FAM’s professionalism.
Can Sainfiet, 40, cope with FAM and the Flames? Football administrator Henry Chibowa on Wednesday said FAM appears to be gambling by thinking Saintfiet’s spell with Nigeria could benefit Malawi in the Group F game.
“It appears he is not stable. In terms of this job, he does not fit in. His experience of Nigeria is no longer relevant because that was long time ago. The authorities need to do the right thing because it is right to do so, which is not to engage him,” said the ex-Sulom president.
Saintfiet relocated to Zimbabwe in 2012 and resigned as Namibia coach from there only for the Zimbabwe government to twice deny him work permits, saying he had stayed there illegally. Two years seem to be the longest he has survived in Africa, while in Namibia.
“Under Saintfiet’s leadership, Namibia rose 34 places in the Fifa rankings. That was the highest position they had achieved in 10 years. After these performances, the Namibian press nicknamed Saintfiet ‘The Saint’ and one newspaper even called him ‘The Messiah’, reads Wikipedia.
On Linkedin.com, where people post their resumes, The Nation found out more about this man who has volunteered to serve the Flames on condition that he will get a hefty appearance fee if he beats Nigeria.
Saintfiet’s last job ended in March 2013 as Yemen national team head coach, lasting just six months from October 2012, leaving them bottom of Group A of the 2015 Asian Cup qualifiers.
He had previously worked at Tanzania’s Young Africans Football Club, guiding them to the Cecafa Club Championship between July and September in 2012, but he was fired after two league games.
Four months was enough for the Belgian to be removed as Nigeria Football Federation technical director in 2012, having previously coached Ethiopia national team from May to October in six games, including a 2-2 draw with Nigeria in 2011.
“Despite the many positives, some agreements were not honoured and that is the reason for this decision,” Saintfiet told the www.bbc.co.uk of October 30 2011.
Four games between January and April 2011 was how the Belgian lasted in Jordan with Shabab al Ordon. He holds the highest coaching badge of Uefa Professional Licence and sport and business psychology bachelor’s degree.