Former Bafana Bafana and Manchester United attacking midfielder Quinton Fortune has said that racism will not stand in his way of becoming a manager at Old Trafford.
Fortune‚ who played under Six Alex Ferguson between 1999 and 2006‚ is currently working as assistant coach to Under-23 coach Neil Wood and he is aiming high.
“I thought about that question of where I want to end up‚ for some reason and my first thought was to become the manager of Manchester United‚” the 43-year-old Fortune told UTD Podcast.
“That’s my dream.
“Of course‚ I’m starting now with the Under-23s and I’m learning a lot and I want to learn as much as possible because management changes so much in the game today.
“I want to learn and just try to help young players get better. That’s the main thing now for me. Yes‚ we want to win games of course‚ but the aim now for myself and Woody is to get the players to the first team. That’s the most important [thing]. And from there you learn as much as possible.
“Look‚ I may have to go out and learn somewhere else and become a manager. But the dream‚ the ultimate dream‚ is to come back and be the manager of Manchester United. From what I’ve been through‚ I’m going for the highest level.”
Fortune said he is in favour of the ‘Rooney Rule’ where at least one BAME candidate will be interviewed for every coaching position but wants his credentials to speak for themselves.
“I want to be given the job because of my ability‚” he explained.
“I want to always be judged because of my character and what I can bring to the team not because of the colour of my skin. When you look at the game‚ you see a lot of black players but why are there not many black managers? I don’t know what the reason is. I think if I go too deep into that it will block my way of thinking.
“I like to think I am going to work as hard as I can‚ get all my qualifications‚ prepare myself and not let that barrier stop me. And if there is a system put in place‚ great‚ but regardless of that I’m going to go and work anyway. That’s my way of thinking. I’m going to get my qualifications‚ like I’m doing with my pro licence‚ and just prepare myself.
“You’ve got to kind of imagine yourself becoming the manager and put things in place and of course‚ like I said‚ if there was a system in place to give more black players an opportunity‚ great – get more black players as coaches‚ I’m all for that.
“But I’m also all for [that] you have got to put in the work. You have got to be a great manager. I want to be given the chance because of my talent.”