FROM QUEBEC TO THE WORLD – HEADING NORTH PART iii

‘So the final part of our trilogy of interviews with Stephen Labeque, and we’re nearing the end of the season in Malaysia’

‘I thought we’d falter a bit as Sanchez went off with El Salvador and played in their friendly games, but as it turned out he didn’t declare for them, and as such is still eligible for the other 2 nations, but in the cups we looked lethargic and faltered, getting knocked out in the semi of both the League & FA cups’

‘But you powered on’

‘We did, and by the 14th of September, we only needed a draw against Pahang and we’d win the league

‘If we didn’t do it in that game, we had 3 other games afterward, and I was confident we’d wouldn’t lose all 3 and Kelantan would win all 3 of their remaining games

‘There were more fans in the stands for this game than had been most of the season, obviously people wanting to witness the team lifting the trophy, but I wasn’t nervous or anything, I knew we had a better team than Pahang’

‘We controlled the game right from the off but didn’t actually take the lead until just before half time, Sanchez again proving just how good he is’

‘We rode the game out and controlled it, until Pahang had a man sent off which more or less sealed the title for us’

‘2 late goals put the icing on the cake and we finished the season off as champions’

‘Your own achievements took center stage as well’

‘They did, as I won the manager of the month award every month of the season, and of course the manager of the year award’

‘Who were the other award winners for your team’

‘Sanchez won the leading scorer and his back up Wahab won the most promising player’

‘So up until then your career has really gone up’

‘Sure thing, and I felt at Kedah like I did at Hougang that I can’t possibly top that season no matter how much we did in the offseason’

‘But the best managers, or the ones considered great stay at teams and build dynasties, Alex Ferguson springs to mind at Manchester. Pep stays at teams a number of years, Mourinho usually spends a few seasons at a club. Why did you leave your second team after only 1 year in charge?’

‘I knew that I’d done better than anyone thought I could, and that anything less than winning the league the following season would be seen as a bad season. I also felt that there would be interest in Sanchez and that I didn’t feel we’d do it again’

‘Which brings us today, and your announcement’

‘So as you know I left Kedah in November and took some time off, came back home to Quebec but now I am happy to say I’ve got another job to which I’m flying out to tomorrow’

‘Where are you going next?’

‘Back to Asia, the Middle East to be precise. I’ve developed a kind of friendship cum rivalry with a manager called Steve Kean. He’s in Qatar at the moment doing well, and I was approached by a team in the United Arab Emirates. After thinking it over I have accepted the offer, and I am now the new manager of Al-Dhafra Sports Club’.


Next chapter – FROM QUEBEC TO THE WORLD – OPERATION DESERT STORM PART i

Previous chapter – FROM QUEBEC TO THE WORLD – HEADING NORTH PART ii

First chapter – FROM QUEBEC TO THE WORLD – THE BEGINNING


2 thoughts on “FROM QUEBEC TO THE WORLD – HEADING NORTH PART iii

  1. Pingback: FROM QUEBEC TO THE WORLD – HEADING NORTH PART ii | On the Break

  2. Pingback: FROM QUEBEC TO THE WORLD – OPERATION DESERT STORM PART i | On the Break

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