Ronil Lal is surely having a great time in football. The young head coach of Labasa has already written his name in the history of Babasiga Lions by leading the team to lift three tournaments in less than a year.
His bright job combined with a good management brought Labasa back to the top in 2019 when they were crowned the champions of Battle of the Giants and Inter-District Championship. The icing in the cake arrived this year when Ratu Anare scored twice to bring the Champion vs Champion Series to the district.
The year of 2019 was surely one of the brightest seasons in the team’s history and being part of this is something very special to Ronil Lal – “I am very proud to be part of this exciting team. I am originally from Labasa so for it is very special for me and my family doing something for my home team,” he stated.
Despite winning three trophies and being in the spotlight, the Babasiga Lions was not so active in the last Fijian transfer window as they prioritized homegrown players instead of bringing extra power from outside the district – “The youth coaches are working very closely with me and we are following the philosophy that we have designed for Labasa FA. We are also trying to implement the team model from our under-16 to the the senior team which will enable the players to understand their player task and our system of play,” explained Lal. It is such a great example of good management that could be observed by other Fijian teams.
Labasa’s glowing year was recognized in Fiji as they dominated the Vodafone/Fiji FA Awards Night by winning the Team of the Year award while Atonio Tuivuna received the Player of the Year award.
Lal highlighted Tuivuna’s importance to the team and he has also reinforced that Atonio Tuivuna deserves a spot in Fiji National Team – “He does deserve a spot in the national. He is a very intelligent player and surely is the backbone of Labasa FA team and a great team player,” he said.
It is important to point that Labasa did not have many players in the Fijian National Teams in the last recent years but things can change after the recent success of Babasiga Lions – “With a consistent performance these players have proven themselves and the players have been working very hard. And a national call up will be a fitting reward for them,” Lal added.
All hopes are renewed for Fijian players for the next call-up as Flemming Serritslev was recently appointed as Fiji National Team head coach – an appointment that is very appreciated by Lal – “Coach Flemming brings with him a ton of experience and knowledge which will be very valuable for players and coaches as well.”
Ronil has already proven his quality as a head coach and now it is time to keep his great job. Now it is time to use the football stop due to COVID-19 to plan the next steps to recover in the 2020 Vodafone Premier League as Labasa won only one of five matches in the league so far.