By Tim Stannard
‘It’s Bouna Time!’ New York Red Bulls fans will be familiar with that chant about their former talismanic goalkeeper, Bouna Coundoul. But now it’s Bouna Time at NISA side New Amsterdam FC where Bouna Coundoul is head coach and has big plans for his club and country of Senegal.
Where would fans need to go to watch New Amsterdam FC games in NISA?
You need to be in New York City at Hofstra University. We are the club of the people, you will find us training at Pier 40 in the heart of Manhattan.
How did you end up as head coach of New Amsterdam FC?
I’ve known the owner, Laurence Girard, for a long time. We were at the New York Red Bulls together. In 2016 when I returned from playing overseas in Europe he wanted some training and I gave him some lessons.
In 2018 he mentioned he was thinking about having a pro team. For the first two seasons I was the goalkeeping coach and then this season he promoted me to be the head coach.
I’ve been with this team from day one. He’s done a great job to have a team in the middle of New York City. The Red Bulls and NYCFC are all New York City but to see them train you have to go out (of the city).
I’ve got the chance to coach some of the players who went to my high school, some of them used to watch me play at the Red Bulls, it’s really amazing. New Amsterdam FC is really doing good things for New York City.
IT’S BOUNA TIME! pic.twitter.com/z1LbiZI8Fl— NEW AMSTERDAM FC (@nafcnyc) October 21, 2021
What’s the future for New Amsterdam FC?
I would love to see New Amsterdam first playing with NISA and if possible the USL Championship, my dream would be join MLS. It would be good to have a third team in MLS from New York City, there’s a lot of talent hiding here.
Would you like to see relegation and promotion across US soccer?
For soccer in the US to improve, we need to have a goal - promotion and relegation is a must. I am a fan of the EPL, when you have to fight for relegation or promotion. You work differently if you know you will be around next season. But in the end, soccer in the USA is about money.
AFCON 2021 is coming to beIN SPORTS in January. You have played in three with Senegal, how big is it for African players and fans?
When I was young about seven or eight, I watched it. And then I was playing in it, I used to dream about it. You always see the next star of African football there like Sadio Mane, Gana Gueye, Mohamed Salah - all those guys, people get to know them through AFCON.
African teams bring quality players, I had the chance to play in three finals, so the competition is far beyond what we can imagine.
It’s so tough when you play African football in the African continent - physically, technically, which is why I did not have the chance to go all the way.