A file photo of George Boateng (right) when he played with T-Team. He is now coaching Kelantan who will face T-Team in their Super League match on May 24, 2014.
KUALA TERENGGANU: Kelantan coach George Boateng will put sentiments aside when he leads the Red Warriors against his old club T-Team in a Super League match on Saturday.
The former Dutch international ended his playing career with the Titans last year before venturing into football management.
Being the professional that he is, all the 38-year-old wants when he returns to his old hunting ground – the Sultan Ismail Stadium – is to make it three wins out of three in the Super League.
“I had a lovely time at T-Team. If I had not come to Malaysia to play for them, I might not be able to manage Kelantan today ... so, I appreciate the opportunity they gave me,” said Boateng.
“I really want Kelantan to win against T-Team, even though they are my old club ... but it is only for the three points. We are in good form now and need to keep going to climb higher in the standings.”
He admitted that he never expected to return to Terengganu after leaving the club at the end of his contract last year.
“It’s going to be a strange feeling going back there ... to the stadium where I used to play,” said Boateng, who has started off impressively with Kelantan since replacing Steve Darby last month.
He began by masterminding Kelantan’s amazing comeback in the FA Cup semi-final first-leg tie against Felda United. Kelantan, who were down 3-0, fought back to draw 3-3 in Kota Baru on May 6. The return leg will be played on Friday.
Kelantan then went on to win their next two Super League matches – beating PKNS FC 2-0 and Perak 2-1.
“The game against T-Team won’t be easy as they are a hardworking side and are very organised defensively,” said Boateng.
He added that former Ghana World Cup striker Prince Tagoe, who had been working hard to improve his match fitness, might travel with the team to Kuala Terengganu.
“Prince Tagoe’s attitude is fantastic ... he has been doing extra training sessions on his own. Like all the Kelantan fans, I am also keen to see him play. But, at the moment, the other strikers – Khairul (Izuan Rosli), Fakri (Saarani) and Francis (Forkey Doe) – are in good form and have better match fitness than him,” said Boateng.