You son of a coach

2010-06-24 10:42

Only a few fathers and sons hold the rare

distinction of having represented their country as coach

and player in the same tournament.

The Maldinis of Italy are one such name in the game, with Cesare

and his boy Paolo being the most famous father-and-son combination to have graced the world’s biggest

football stage, as coach and player

respectively.

There are just two sets in the exclusive club of fathers and sons

doing duty in the current World Cup.

Bob and Michael Bradley are doing it for the USA in Group C, while

Slovakia coach Vladimir Weiss coaches his son, also named Vladimir, in Group F.

Vladimir senior admitted on the eve of their 1-1 drawn Group F

match against New Zealand this week that “it is not easy to coach my son, of course,

but it is a beautiful thing”.

While the trend has been ongoing for some time in the world soccer

spectacle, the combination of the Serbia and Montenegro coach Ilja Petkovic and his son, Dusan, was not well received as the pair were

accused of nepotism by their compatriots – to such an extent that a fed-up Dusan

returned home early from Germany in 2006.

Locally, Gordon Igesund and Jomo Sono can relate well to the

situation of the father-and-son
combo in the game.

Igesund mentored his son, Grant, at

Ajax Cape Town, while Sono has guided Bamuza through the ranks at Jomo

Cosmos.

“It is the most difficult thing for a coach to have his son in

the team. Even if he deserves to be in the starting line-up, you always get

people having a go at you, especially when your son misses a goal or when the team is not doing well,”

said Gordon, adding that “it puts the coach under

more pressure”.

He said it sometimes became  unfair for the boys.

“Even when he did well during training all week, I would start him

on the bench or he would be the first to go out when I had to make

substitutions.”

The Sonos’ working relationship spans 14 years and Bamuza said he

had grown used to the set-up.

“I used to take things for granted when I was still in the

Under-17s, but when I was promoted to the first team my father told me in front

of the rest of the team that ‘you are just like any other Cosmos player and our

father-and-son relationship will resume only when

we get home’”, Sono junior said.


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