New kids on the block, RS Berkane, are counting down the days until the Oranges take on Zamalek in the Total CAF Confederation Cup final, hoping to repeat what fellows Raja Club Athletic did last season when they won the same competition.
It is a historic qualification for the first time in the history of the Oranges after defeating Tunisia’s Club Sportif Sfaxien on 3-2 aggregate of the semi-finals.
The club was created in 1938, as Association Sportive de Berkane before changing their name into Union Sportive de Berkane in 1966, and then Ronaissance Sportive de Berkane in 1970.
The club had never won a local title until the year 2018 when they lifted the Coupe du Trône (Moroccan version of the FA Cup), for the only title in the club’s history.
“We have learned a lot from our last two experiences in the CAF Confederation Cup. In our third appearance, we are looking forward to the final. This great achievement is thanks to the Management board who look after the details to make the club play professional football,” Mostapha Berjal, an avid RS Berkane supporter, told CAFonline.com.
The Berkane-based club has suddenly become the preferred destination for foreign players, boasting of internationals such as Laba Kodjo (Togo), and Burkinabe duo, Alain Traore and Issoufou Dayo.
“This season the club have a squad that can overcome Egypt’s Zamalek and win the Total CAF Confederation Cup because Berkane has shown that they can score at home or away,” said Mouhamed Tlaghi, a football journalist based in Berkane.
“It is because of the joined efforts between the board, the players, the technical staff, the supporters and journalists in the eastern region of Morocco that Berkane have become one of the strongest clubs in Africa,” he added.
Berkane will now face off against Zamalek, holders of five CAF Champions League titles and three CAF Super Cups, and yet to win the CAF Confederation Cup.
Berkane coach Mounir Jaouani knows well what it means to bring a first continental cup to the city, which means volcano in Arabic.
“We have qualified to the final. All the components of the club have one dream: to win the title,” Jaouani declared.
The first leg will take place on Sunday, 19 May in Berkane, with the reverse in the Egyptian city of Alexandria on 26 May.