Quinton Fortune.

Fortune confirms managerial aspirations

Friday 25 June 2021 08:00

Former Manchester United midfielder Quinton Fortune has passed his UEFA pro-licence course and is determined to master the art of coaching.

The South African has been working on his coaching badges for many years and gained valuable experience with United's Under-23s before taking up a post at Championship club Reading in September 2020.

It has been a long road for the 44-year-old but he is determined to put all of his education to good use in the game.

"Why I've been so happy about it is because I started back in 2003/04," he told us. "I remember Neil Bailey coming to the Aon Training Complex with a guy called Joe Joyce and we went into the Academy building.

“In walked Keaney [Roy Keane] and Scholesy [Paul Scholes] and I was thinking what am I going to tell them so I walked out and left them. There was no chance I was going to tell them [about it]! That's how it all started and it was a long journey with amazing people helping me reaching that level to get the pro-licence. It's definitely worth doing all the hard work.”

The likes of Rory Delap, Casey Stoney and John Terry were on the same course and, despite problems posed by COVID-19, it was a satisfying and rewarding experience for Fortune.

"Coaching-wise, I still want to improve and master the art of coaching," he said. "Obviously, I want to become a manager but first want to be a coach and understand that side of the game. Getting my pro-licence is doing that and it helps prepare me for what is ahead. It's been an amazing two years with some amazing people on the course and the learning they put into you in different scenarios is definitely worth it.

“That's the plan [management]. It's almost like the closest thing you can get to playing football, which I could play forever. I've got to use what I've learned over the years and transfer that to helping the players and being the best coach or manager I can be.

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It's 17 years since the much-loved South Korean crossed the North Sea to join United.

“We were a little bit unfortunate that before COVID, it was at St George's Park but we had to do most of it online. We were still able to meet sometimes in Warwick and at Windsor for the ceremony but a lot of stuff was online, which was another challenge we managed to overcome.

“You can pick the brains of the players and managers in the game on the course and ask questions. Now I understand what Sir Alex went through and all the coaches in the Premier League and around the world!”