Assistant coach of Karela United, Stephen Abugri, has recounted drawing inspiration from veteran coaches J.E. Sarpong and Bashir Hayford to become a coach.
Coach Abugri has played a vital role for Karela in the ongoing Ghana Premier League season.
Speaking exclusively to Asempa FM’s Kobby Stonne, he revealed how he was motivated by some well-known coaches to accept the challenge to be in the dugout.
“I took coach J.E. Sarpong as my father and I started coaching because of his inspiration. In fact, he was my father and everything.
“Coach Bashir Hayford also encouraged me because in the year 2000, Ashaiman Secondary School and Tema Technical Institute went to the finals during the inter-schools and indeed it was a very nice match.
“So after the match coach Bashir Hayford came to me and asked me about the kind of coaching certificate I am holding but I told him I don’t have any coaching certificate. He told me I am a star in coaching in Ghana and I respect him as a father, colleague and senior teacher.
“Hayford told me I am a star in coaching and that he will encourage me to become a coach. At that time, I was teaching at Ashaiman Secondary School so every weekend I went to Accra Academy to coach J.E. Sarpong.
“When I went to him I saw three coaching books, one for the defender, one for midfielders and one for strikers, so I stole the books in coach J.E. Sarpong’s house.
“He asked me, ‘Koulibally, I have some books but I can’t find them’ and I told him I don’t know where the books are but I was a thief but I was a positive thief because after I stole the books I qualified Tema All-Stars from second Division to Division One, then I returned the books to him and said coach I have qualified the team.
“He asked me, are you a coach? And I said yes, because of you I became a coach, you are a highly inspirational person, the coach looked at me and said, ‘Koulibally congratulations’, he was annoyed but because I said I stole his book and qualified a team to the Division One he was happy so he said ‘take the books back’ and that is how I became a coach.”
Mr Abugri had stints with Division One side’s Tema All-Stars, Fair Points and King Faisal as head coach.
He masterminded King Faisal’s qualification into the Ghana Premier League back in 2012 after going unbeaten with the club in the Division One League.