Ex-footballer Hasnaa Doumi fulfilled her dream of becoming the first woman to coach a men’s team in Morocco, convinced that “women can achieve anything, they just have to have the opportunity”.
Since March, the young coach (29 years old) has been supervising the training of Al-Ittihad Sports Club in the city of Faqih Bensalah (center), which is participating in the second division of the amateur championship.
In a cheerful atmosphere, Hasnaa instructs her players, wearing a black jacket and sports cap, with the help of a whistle, on the pitch of a modest stadium.
And she says after the end of the exercise: It is an honor for me to be the first coach of a men’s team in Morocco. It is also a pride for me and my parents who have always supported me.
Perhaps her performance at the head of the team is evidence of this, as when she took over his training, he was languishing in the thirteenth place in the championship standings, which threatened him with relegation to the next degree.
In light of this difficult situation, “she had great fears” when club officials suggested that she train him. “He was at the bottom of the standings and it was like a ticking time bomb,” she says.
But she was able to win the bet, and the team achieved seven victories and two draws under her leadership, earning 23 points, and “this is a record in the amateur section,” as the club’s technical director, Abdul Rahim Al-Khadimi, points out.
And he adds: Hasnaa sailed the team’s ship to safety, achieving survival in the second division of the amateur championship, and the team finished the season in the middle of the standings.
In turn, the players feel comfortable putting the team under Hasna’s leadership, although her appointment as their coach “was a surprise” at first, says captain Abdel Hadi Banan.
He adds: I arrived at a sensitive moment, but we worked hand in hand and were able to overcome the difficulties.
Despite her young age, Hasna has accumulated a rich athletic career. She had previously supervised the training of local teams for females and others for the younger groups, before assuming the task of assisting the coach of the Olympique Fakih Bensalah club, which is also participating in one of the amateur sections.
Before that, she played in several clubs in the first division of the women’s championship since 2009.
After she fulfilled her “dream” of playing football, “the love of which grew in my heart since childhood,” she wanted to embark on the adventure of training, “so that I could stay close to the stadiums,” as she enthusiastically explains.
In parallel with training, Hasnaa works as a sports teacher at a high school in the city of Faqih in Bensalah.
Hasnaa sees her ideal model in the famous Spanish coach Pep Guardiola and Moroccan Walid Regragui, whose star shone when he led the “Atlas Lions” to the semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.