*I have resigned from my job on principles
Coach Kennedy Boboye started his coaching career with a female team in Akure and he later went on to coach Sunshine Stars of Akure. The most sought after coach has had stings with Abia Warriors and now he is one of the generation next coaches doing exploits in the league, Olayinka Elebute caught up with the Plateau United Chief Coach. He opens up on the goal ahead for the team on the plateau.
How does it feel being the top contender for the league?
There’s nothing in it, the only time one can feel happy is when you end the league by winning something. To be on top means you’ve to work harder than you’ve been working to remain there.
You’ve always done well everywhere you have been. What is the difference in Plateau united?
I came meeting people that are ambitious about what they wanted as well. Most especially young players that are very determined. Everyone wants to win. The young players want to make a name for themselves. I give example of Rangers International of Enugu last year, majority of them hadn’t won nothing apart from the exception of maybe two. So, the younger ones wanted to achieve for themselves. Get something attached to their name.
You’ve a bunch of young players that are not known. How are you coping with them?
I found some of them in the academy team. I was surprised when they said they’re not registered and wanted to leave. I said no. These are people that can play. So let’s give them opportunity. Maturity comes only when they play. Life is about weather you want to meet up or not. But since they’ve been playing, I think they’ve proved themselves.
The clime in Nigeria now is that younger coaches taking over. What’s the revolution about?
The Nigerian coaches I think everyone has his own approach. If you add those things to the game with what you have, the sky will be your limit.
Coach, a lot of people have tagged you as a first stanza coach. Now we’re about going for the break, how do you want to change the perception of Nigerians?
Its so appalling. People talk without facts. Anyone talking about my time at Sunshine Stars will know I ended the league with Sunshine. It was the last day we played Enyimba. There are things that happened that I prefer not to talk about. I told them something and they didn’t follow it and we drew the match. Then, I picked my bag that day from the bench and travelled never to return to Sunshine again. Not minding its my state. I had much people there who wanted me to stay but I told them we were not acting like professionals. I went to Abia Warriors. were playing and I saw it coming which I discussed with the management and they didn’t see it that way. I decided instead of me waiting till things got spoilt, I resigned and go my way. I think it was only Abia Warriors I resigned after first stanza. At Sunshine I played till final day.
Who has been the revelation for your team?
I don’t like mentioning names. I give kudos to everyone. Especially the ones that have not even started playing. Because if they don’t give the fight to the one’s playing, we won’t beef up. I keep telling them I can’t sack a player. Especially if I haven’t given you opportunity to play. Everyone will get his chance but you’ve to use it well.
What quality of support are you getting from the management?
100% support. Especially from the technical director Coach Ahmed Ibrahim. He is one person that had been behind the team. That man all alone has given about N4.5 million as bonus to the players. With support like that, we only need to push hard. That’s the only way we can pay the people of Jos for massively supporting us.
The fans want to go to the continent. What assurance are you giving them?
I’m not assuring anybody. From day one I say I don’t like assuring people. They never planned about continent till I came. I kept asking what they wanted and they told me they wanted to be in first five. But I told them we’ll work hard to pick points anywhere we play.
Which team had been the toughest for you so far?
Hmmmm.. I think Wikki Tourist. The team we played in our home game on week 17. They showed class and dominated midfield but we went back at half time and got over it. And you know it’s our own local derby. It was tough for us.
You’ve played the league before, what do you think LMC are doing differently now?
LMC is one body we must give kudos to. But, I keep begging and praying that the only time we must complement what they’re doing now is when it comes to the second round. That is where the hanky panky is in the league. If they can keep to what they’re doing, then we can now doff our heart for them. And appreciate their effort if they help to curtail the team excesses.
Generally who has been your revelation in the season so far?
I’ll give it to Fidelis Ilechukwu of MFM FC. The team is not doing badly. Young coach, at least, they have a style of play. And its a team that has gone out to get results with two different teams. I think they’ve been together for sometimes which shows continuity.
What do you think is happening to Rivers United and Enugu Rangers, Wikki Tourist, FC Ifeanyi Ubah that represented Nigeria in continental assignment?
Fatigue is one of the biggest problems these teams have. They fly out for continental games and come plying the road. You should as well fly them for League games so they have enough rest. Go to South Africa here that was the last place I played before I stopped football. If you don’t have an airport in your city the teams will not play there. You look for the nearby city that has an airport.
We call ourselves the giants and our league is all this. Those are the things that contributed to the poor performance of the teams. Fatigue was there.
So what are your targets for this season.
At least to win something. For the Loving Governor of Plateau State His Excellency Solomon Lalong.