I’m often asked who the best player I have ever coached is. It’s a difficult question to answer. I’ve been truly blessed to coach some excellent players but all are special in their own way. Some area naturally gifted, others have been relentless in their work rate and approach to training and there is a small group that are natural born leaders. There’s only a couple that’s all of the above, one of them: Yannick.
To read the last from the dugout click here.
Invite Him For A Trial…..
Every club is different in their transfer approach but inviting players to trial at the club, at this level, was embarrassing. When I first met Yannick that’s all I could say. He was humble and was accommodating from the start. He showed in that trial his quality and he was obviously a star signing for us at Soltilo. The clubs policy on housing stopped the deal but then later on the summer we managed to convince the club to change the policy and Yannick became the marquee signing.
Getting To Know The Person……
I often invite players to my home for dinner. I love to cook and I feel you learn a lot about people in the way eat and behave around children. We got to know each other very well and what I found is forgetting what an extraordinary player he is, he was a gentleman, honest and a family man. I remember before the opening game vs Phnom Penh Crown we had spent a week secretly collecting videos from every players family telling the players how proud their families were of them and wishing them luck. I can’t remember how I did it but I managed to find his brother who recorded and video from his father and himself. Yannick had the biggest smile. When I left Soltilo he came to my home and chatted with me for 4 hours. I remember I had a hot sandwich in my office that I just cooked and 4 hours later it was ruined. It showed the man he was by coming over. He joined us for Xmas that year & to this day remains a close friend of my family.
Kirivong Have Signed A Gem…
Most will know what Yannick has in terms of key attributes. He has a change of pace that is frightening, ghosts past players with ease and he is powerful. He has always played as a forward and terrified right backs for years. What most will not know is his eye for a key pass and his ability to score from distance (Goal vs KIRIVONG for Soltilo) meant for me he was more suited to a central midfield role.
His biggest weakness? I’ll leave that for other coaches to figure out but for me his weakness coupled with those two hidden attributes meant he was the perfect box to box midfielder.
Whatever happens over the next few years of his career I’ll be watching with keen interest and hopefully one day he’ll be able to wear the blue and white of Next Step FC. Over the next decade of his life and beyond I hope to remain friends with this wonderful man. Good luck Yannick, Kirivong have signed a gem.
To check out Next Step FC click here.