Civics’ Nell considers his options
Stand-in Civics coach, Donnelly Nell (32) is enjoying his roller coaster ride as gaffer and is even thinking of permanently exchanging his suits with training gear.
Nell’s official position at Civics is executive chairman but he was roped in to steady the ship after 15 rounds when the substantial coach, Christy Guruseb decided to quit his position. With no one else around to take over the reins, the club’s directors decided to throw Nell in the deep end and their only hope was for him to rescue the team from possible relegation.
The former hard tackling Civics defender said he was at first skeptical, afraid and unsure about accepting the role of interim coach but in the interest of the team’s survival he accepted that he had no choice but to dive in, head first. After the first few rounds, Civics – three-times winners of the MTC Premiership – found themselves competing for fresh air third at the bottom of the league table. However, since taking over, Nell has clocked an impressive series of victories and managed to get the team to a respectable eighth position after 24 rounds of competitive matches.
“The wins raised the team out of the relegation zone and also helped boost the players’ confidence while also helping to take some pressure off the players and management,” he said. “It was also a sign of how hard the boys have been working in training with regard to our attacks and defending,” said Nell.
Such was the spirit in the Civics camp that the focus has now changed from avoiding relegation to finishing in a respectable position on the log table. “Our main target now is to consolidate a top eight finish come end of the season.”
On the way forward, Nell said all their upcoming matches are very important and although all the remaining matches in the second round will be tough, Civics would want to win all of them to finish among the top teams. Civics’ remaining matches are against Black Africa, Flamingoes, Mighty Gunners, Citizens, Tura Magic, and UNAM FC.
“I must admit, I am totally impressed with the current form and style of play. The players have adapted to my style of quick play, and you can see our defense is marshaled in the same manner in which I played and organised my defense line during my playing days,” he emphasized. About the future, Nell said he has given serious thought to becoming a full time coach but will spend some more time thinking about it, although he admitted that the idea appeals to him more every day.
He said he will be keen to keep all his current players whom he said are ‘good bunch of honest, dedicated and talented players.’