Why mentorship and coaching is dear to me -Irungu

Why mentorship and coaching is dear to me -Irungu
Irungu takes his Fortune Sacoo players through the routine drills

In Summary

  • Irungu says in as much he misses being part of the playing unit, the joy of watching them play and win under his tutelage makes up for the sacrifice,

All great football coaches – local and foreign – honed their skills under some great mentors.

Talk of Pep Guardiola or Mauricio Pochettino and you realize they both largely looked up to one man, Marcelo Bielsa, as their mentor.

So meticulous was Bielsa in his planning that he swayed the aforementioned young coaches but little did he know that in years to come he would work with them in one league, or face them other as opponents.

Today, Pochettino coaches French giants PSG while Guardiola calls the shots at Manchester City. Bielsa, on the other hand, still practices his football philosophy, at Leeds United in the English Premier League.

It is a similar path that Fortune Sacco FC player-coach Sylvester Godwin Irungu wants to follow once he hangs up his boots – going into full time coaching – and it  is no-brainer.

For quite a while now, he has had to take a break from his playing duties to try guide his fellow teammates as they chase promotion to the FKF Premier League through the murky waters of Kenya’s second-tier league.

Well, quite intimidating as it may sound, he has been overachieving and even outperforming many of the qualified coaches in the division, having guided his side to an impressive third place on the National Super League (NSL) following their latest win against giants Shabana away at Awendo Green Stadium last Sunday.

Irungu says in as much he misses being part of the playing unit, the joy of watching them play and win under his tutelage makes up for the sacrifice, adding that it takes a ”big heart” and ”passion” to replicate what he is doing at the moment.

“Honestly like anyone passionate about playing football I would love to be part of the winning team but I have accepted the challenge and I’m motivated to help my team win.

“It feels special to watch them implement what I tell them. I must say they make my work easy because of the talent level, communication, and respect that we have in our team.”

Anyone watching the game from the terraces at the Awendo stadium could have understandably mistaken him for a seasoned tactician with decades of experience under his belt given the calm and composure he exhibited on the away team’s dugout as he oversaw his troops overpower Shabana to move into the qualifying positions on the log.

The long-serving member of the Kianyaga stadium-based side says he fashioned his body language after Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola whose enviable resume has seen him rack up major honors across Europe’s elite leagues in Spain, Germany and now England.

“Just like Pep, I would like to be calm and inspire my players to be confident in what they do on the pitch. The animated tantrums on the sidelines do not work the magic at all,” he asserts.

His coaching journey kicked off when he took up the responsibility of nurturing one of the promising under-12 outfits in his Githurai residence. He says one day he would like to be among the young coaches that will take over the mantle from the current crop of seasoned tacticians like Wazito FC’s Francis Kimanzi and Harambee Stars’ Jacob “Ghost” Mulee.

“If you look at our work it’s the hallmarks of what both Kimanzi and Ghost have done. It will be my pleasure to continue their legacy once they call it a day,” he adds.

He will hope to help his side to replicate their weekend exploits when they take on struggling Soy United on Saturday.

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