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Reagent/Protectorator
Yidnekatchew Tessema
Mengistu Worku

St. George Gallery

President

abnet_2010_thumbWe all share a passion for Saint George Football Club. I am Lucky enough to have been involved at Board Level since 1996, and after serving as Vice-President of the fundraising team until 1999, I have now been Club President for a decade.

Message

Message from the president
A message to the supporters of Saint George

abnet_2010We all share a passion for Saint George Football Club. I am Lucky enough to have been involved at Board Level since 1996, and after serving as Vice-President of the fundraising team until 1999, I have now been Club President for a decade.

In that time, I have got to know many of you very well, and I know that where football is concerned, we all share the same hopes and dreams.

The last few years have not been without their controversy, and this is largely because we have dared to go where no other Ethiopian team has gone before.

We introduced the country’s first professional players. We bought in the country’s first overseas players. We now have an overseas manager. And not just any manager, but Giuseppe Dosenna, a man who has played and coached at the very highest level in world football. A man who played 38 times for Italy and was part of a World Cup winning squad.

In short, we have driven the Ethiopian game forward. And, as a result we have enjoyed a certain amount of success. Including nine Championships in thirteen years.

As you will know from our many conversations at Town Halls and on match-days, this has not happened by chance. It has required passion, teamwork and support across the club. Our Board works behind the scenes night and day. There are occasional arguments and disagreements, but for all the right reasons. Quite simply, we all care passionately about what we are doing. And nobody within Saint George is willing to aim for anything less than the very best.

The team’s success is no secret. Bus it has been based on a growing infrastructure. Twenty years ago we had no club office. Now we are on the brink of opening our state-of-the-art new stadium, which will enable record numbers of supporters to watch the team play in comfort and safety.

That opening will be marked by a ceremony in January. And six months later we will complete our youth soccer academy, another ground-breaking landmark in Ethiopia soccer that we hope will begin to produce the stars of the next generation.

This visionary model for the way that a club should develop is, of course, built on a European template.

Many of you know that I am a great fan of Arsenal and Arsene Wenger. They demonstrate a style and professional ambition that set an example for any club anywhere. They remain a benchmark for the club that I want Saint George to become. And I hope that Mr. Dossena’s relationship with Arsene Wenger will help us build more formal links between the two clubs.

Like Arsenal, we have had our triumphs domestically. But we are equally focused on developing our success across the continent.

In recent years we have reached the final of the East and Central Africa Cup and come within touching-distance of the African Champions’ League quarter final. This season, I hope we can go one-better in both competitions.

International success will not just bring joy to those of us who love Saint George. It will also have a deeper significance for football in this country as a whole.

We all dream of holding an African Cup of Nations in Ethiopia. But we have not qualified for the finals for three decades.

To do so, and build a more robust foot balling infrastructure in this country, requires a partnership of government, the EFA and club members. And I believe that as the country’s flagship club, it is our responsibility to try to pull these groups together and to lead Ethiopian football in the same direction that we have taken Saint George.

I started by mentioning my ten years as President. This has been a huge pleasure and an honour. But I am just working as part of a much bigger team. That team includes Sheikh Mohammed H Al Amoudi, whose incredible generosity has contributed 80% of the new stadium’s costs. And we have also benefited from sponsorship from BGI, the Dashen Bank and Pepsi Ethiopia.

As a club, we have also benefited hugely from the time and work put in by the board, the management and the players.

But ultimately, this club is about the supporters. Many years from now, there will be new stars on the pitch, and new executives in the boardroom. But the stands will still be filled by the same families who have loved Saint George for 75 years.

Without your support and generosity we are nothing. I would like to thank you for everything that you do and have done for this great club. And I hope that we will all be celebrating yet again when May comes around.

Abennet G, Meskel ODA
President, Saint George Football Club

Bio

abinet1Mr. Abennet G/Meskel plays a significant role with the Ethiopian Sport arena in bringing about an extraordinary result not only a the Chair of the Board of Directors within the St. George Sports' Club but into the entire Ethiopian soccer sport by promoting rhythmatic and harmonic changes in paving the road for the future generation.

Mr. Abennet G/Meskel realizing the problems surrounding the Ethiopian Federation and the possible self-inflicted downfall took an immediate action by forming the United League to find a permanent solution and is currently serving as the Chairman of the Board of this newly created organization.

Mr. Abennet G/Meskel not only made a conscious exertion of hard work and ample time to the Ethiopian Sports federation but also contributed and is continuing to contribute financial support to the St. George Sports' Club.

abinet2Soccer is not new to Mr. Abennet. He had been involved in organized soccer sports since childhood as a player, captain and coach for the Washington DC football club. While as a student at the Michigan University he actively played for the university for four years. Furthermore he played important roles in organizing Ethiopian teams in and around Washington D.C including being the pioneer in the formation of the North American Federation to be able to reach to its present level.

Since becoming the Chair of the Board of the St. George Club, the club has made quite a lot of progress in many ways than one under his leadership. He deserves our expression of gratitude for being a true Ethiopian.

abe2 abe1


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