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Ex-Yemen manager Abraham Mebratu has been unveiled as the new coach of Ethiopia’s national team, Walia Ibex, in a two-year-deal.

The 48-year-old succeeds Ashenafi Bekele, who resigned in December last year following a dismal outing in the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in Kenya.

He was given freehand to appoint backroom staff including his assistants.

“If possible I would like to include nutritionists and video analysts,” Mebratu requested.

Mebratu left the Yemen job after qualifying for the 2019 Asian Cup finals for lack of funds to prepare the team for the continental assignment.

He has also had a burning desire to lead the Walias having worked as an assistant of the national outfit and several of the youth teams previously.

“Although I was working in Yemen for a long time, I kept in touch with Ethiopia’s football. I have been a CAF coaching instructor so I know how the players fair in the league.

Luckily I have got a support of Sewnet Bishaw and other coaches,” Mebratu told soccerethiopia.net.

The former Ethiopian Coffee boss has his work cut out for him as his immediate task is to prepare for the resumption of AFCON 2019 in September.

Ethiopia opened their campaign on a sour note, losing 5-0 on the road to Ghana and will be hoping to bounce back against Sierra Leone at home.

“We will be summoning three players in each position. We will trim the squad to 23. We will begin preparation on 7 August in Hawassa.

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I know EFF has reached to the Eritrean National Football Federation for a possible friendly game. I’m still waiting for the date but if it won’t happen then we will try to fix a build-up against a West African nation.”

Ethiopia Football Federation president Esayas Jira expressed optimism that they still can make it to the Cameroon 2019 AFCON with five matches still to play.

“We can’t rule out our chances while having five games at hand. We have games against Sierra Leonne and Kenya so why are we talking about failing to reach AFCON?” he posed.

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