Football

I’m A Diehard Fan Of Labasa Football, Says Coach Pratap   

Pratap is preparing the Labasa football team for next weekend’s Pillay Garment’s Champion versus Champion series against Suva.
12 Feb 2021 11:29
I’m A Diehard Fan Of Labasa Football, Says Coach Pratap   
Interim Labasa football coach Ravneel Pratap (left) and midfielder Ashnil Raju during training at Labasa Muslim Primary School ground on February 10, 2021. Photo: Shratika Naidu

Interim Labasa football coach, Ravneel Nilesh Pratap, is taking on the big challenge of coaching the Babasiga Lions.

The Labasa Sangam College schoolteacher stepped up after coach Ronil Lal resigned last week.

Speaking to SUNsports on Wednesday, the 29-year-old he had been assisting Lal since his appointment in 2018 while at the same time he was coaching the Labasa Under-19 side.

“I’m a diehard fan of Labasa football and I’m originally from Labasa as well,” Pratap said.

“It is an honour to work for the Labasa team and coach, Ronil Lal had been my role model.”

He admitted having no interest of coaching any other district but for Labasa.

“The passion and love for football motivated me to take up the sport.”

Pratap was the only child in his family and he did his first coaching course (OFC Grassroot Level) at the Fiji National University in 2012.

“During that time I was on teacher training and started coaching school grade teams. Then from 2016 to 2017, I was appointed the Bua Youth coach.”

Pratap said while with Labasa he had worked with coaches like former midfield wizard Anand Sami, Johan Leewai and Lal.

“I’m also a football player representing Harbourlite Batinikama Club in the Labasa Local Football League. Currently, I’m doing a B License to upgrade my knowledge and skills.”

 

Next challenge

Pratap is preparing the Labasa football team for next weekend’s Pillay Garment’s Champion versus Champion series against Suva.

When asked how he would handle criticism from fans if the team fail to perform as expected.

He said: “Criticism is part of football, you have to take it positively so that you can improve your areas of strength.

“As a coach I’ve to keep in mind that you can become a hero in one minute and then another minute you’ll be zero.

“I’m not offended by criticism and neither choose to hit back at people.”

Pratap said despite the cyclones and flood they have been able to do some training.

“Our first match is against Suva at ANZ Stadium next Friday.

“I request our fans to be at the ground to support the players and officials as we have been affected twice by natural disaster over a period of two months.

“Right now our aim is to simply give our best performance,” he added.

 

Feedback:  shratikanLabasaLabasa@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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