Words: Jack Mallinson
Widely regarded as one of the finest managers in modern history, Pep Guardiola’s won a lot of silverware.
He’s won La Liga and Bundesliga three times apiece, the Champions League twice, is aiming to win the Quadruple this year, and now he’s turning his skills to amateur football.
In COPA90’s new film, Pep takes a Kitchener Taverners FC training session to see if he can bring them the same success he’s brought to every other club, and truly silence anyone still calling him a chequebook manager.
COPA presenter (and Pep’s assistant manager in the film) Michael Timbs described what it was like to work with one of the best managers around, “Meeting Pep was intimidating in the same way that meeting Arsène Wenger was intimidating and meeting footballers isn’t.”
Because you build them up in your head, they hold this weight and aura when you meet them. When I tried to speak to him about Sunday League football, he would talk about football as a whole and the need to enjoy it as a game.”
He speaks about football with so much enthusiasm and intensity,” said Timbs, better known as Timbsy of ‘being a handsome bloke who is good at football on YouTube’ fame, “When the conversation turns to football, his eyes light up, and it’s hard not to get wrapped in chatting about football.”
It was just incredible to be in his presence, and watching Pep Guardiola watch football was so rewarding. He didn’t want to mess with their tactics too much and was respectful.”
While it wasn’t a Man City training session, his eyes were still flickering, and his mind is still tracking everything that’s going on. He can’t help it; he clearly just loves football.”
The Mighty Kitch—as the team is known—play in the Ipswich Sunday League. Having nearly folded in 2017, the pub side were kept together by current manager, Lee, who stepped in rather than see the club disappear. With the original side having formed in 1967, Lee is the son of one of the Kitch’s original squad members.
Now, having a close-knit squad, many who are friends and family, they’re back and flourishing. Can Pep take them up a gear?
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