Boateng eyes S-League opportunity
SINGAPORE — On the cusp of his 38th birthday, a still sprightly George Boateng sprints half the field — from the centre circle into the penalty box — to meet a perfectly floated cross, heading in a 90th-minute goal that sealed a 2-1 away victory for T-Team over Johor Darul Takzim in a Malaysia Cup group match in August.
It is enshrined in cyberspace.
“That goal kept our chances alive for the quarter-finals, and I can’t think of a better example (of why I continue to play),” said Boateng yesterday when he met the media here.
“As a player, even at my age, that’s what you live for ... just for that very moment. I don’t live to sign a multi-million pound contract, I’ve had that. I live for that moment of success, when you shine ... the moment when you know that the hard work has paid off.”
On a private visit to Singapore, Boateng admitted he is on the lookout for an opportunity to move south, with his year-long contract with Terengganu Malaysian Super League side T-Team due to expire at the end of this month.
But Boateng, who shot to fame with Dutch side Feyenoord at the age of 18, before spending 13 seasons in the English Premier League with Coventry City, Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and Hull City, was quick to dispel the notion that he is seeking one final big pay day with the S-League.
“If I would get a job here in Singapore, it’s not because of money,” said Boateng, who has four international caps for the Netherlands and played in the 2006 UEFA Cup final for Middlesbrough against Sevilla.
“It’s because of the driving force within me that I want to achieve something. Make no mistake, I’m only going to use this as a step-up and I guarantee you in the next five years I’m going to be a Premier League manager.”
Boateng secured his UEFA “A” coaching licence last month, and with his playing career winding down, the Dutchman is open to the idea of being a manager or player-coach here.
He said: “I think I have something that I can contribute to the S-League, in terms of experience and quality that I have and bring with me. And it’s always nice to embrace another culture, and it’s always good to add value to the country.”