Entering his second season as head coach of Pacific FC, Pa-Modou Kah is still yet to walk out with his team at Starlight Stadium.
After a single-site 2020 season, and a similar situation to begin 2021, Kah is hoping that changes this year, and he’s optimistic of continuing Pacific’s upwards trajectory in the CPL.
The former Norway international spoke with CanPL.ca to discuss a number of things ahead of the CPL’s return to action later this month.
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The season is approaching, slowly but surely
With the offseason approaching 300 days long, clubs have been eager to get back onto the pitch.
The health and safety restrictions across Canada have made it difficult for several clubs to train in groups, or for some to train at all, and Pacific are no exception. Despite that, everyone is trying to stay positive.
“As a team, we are very excited to start the season,” Kah said to CanPL.ca. “It’s been seven months since the last time these boys kicked a football. It’s been a long road because of restrictions from the Canadian government — we wanted to kickoff sooner, but the restrictions, I think, are one of the hardest restrictions a country has had.”
Another long offseason is finally coming to a close in a few weeks time.
“All of us are just happy to be able to play football, and hopefully get fans back in.”
Pacific looking to use 2020 experiences to build in 2021
After coaching Pacific to a fourth place finish at the Island Games, Kah is hoping to have an even better season in 2021.
A strong start is his team’s goal, and with the first eight matches set to take place in Winnipeg, Kah is hoping to lean on last year’s experiences to help him this time around.
Having experienced a single-site environment before, Kah and the returning players feel ready for a second bubble.
“I can only speak for my team, and for our staff, but I think after going to [a bubble environment] last year, we are better prepared, stronger, and more glued together,” Kah said. “We’ve been working together as a group now for a long time. We just want to get the season going.”
After some time training together, the team is building relationships and trust with one another as well.
“I think the boys are gelling nicely,” said Kah. “They’re understanding more of each other, and understanding what we’re asking of them and the way that we play. It’s been nice to have everyone come in with a great mindset, ready to grind.
“I can’t say anything but just giving them props, because every single day they’re coming in and being super strong and motivated.”
Kah waiting to perform in front of Pacific fans for the first time
After taking over Pacific FC ahead of the 2020 season, Kah is yet to actually coach a game at Starlight Stadium in front of the Pacific FC home fans. With the goal for teams to return to their home stadiums after the bubble in Winnipeg, he can’t wait for that opportunity.
“I’ve never had a game in front of these fans,” he said. “I’m very much looking forward to seeing them, and being able to play, and see the boys perform.
“They have also not seen some of our players. For them to be able to showcase their quality in front of our home fans would be fantastic.”