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Sol Bamba: Cardiff City defender won’t let cancer halt his managerial ambitions

Sol Bamba says he was reduced to tears after receiving public support from his Cardiff City team-mates in his battle against cancer.

The Cardiff players wore ‘Bamba 22’ shirts with the message ‘We Fight With You’ during their warm-up ahead of last weekend’s game against Norwich.

Bamba was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma earlier this month but says he is “feeling good” after undergoing his first chemotherapy.

“That was huge for me, it made me emotional,” replied Bamba, when asked about his team-mates’ show of support.

“I cried as well. The club have been very supportive, I’m very fortunate. The support I’ve had from everyone in football around the world has been incredible.

“I’ve had messages to support me and my family. I want to thank them all. It has given me the strength to try and beat this.”

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The Cardiff City players wore T-shirts in support of their team-mate

Bamba has been keeping a good routine, from going to his personal gym in the morning to studying for his coaching badges. The 36-year-old Ivory Coast international is not letting his illness get in the way of his managerial aspirations.

“I’ve always been very passionate about coaching,” he said.

“Obviously coming towards the end of my career, I’m getting more and more involved. I’ve been fortunate the club have given me the opportunity to take sessions with the U23s sometimes and even get involved with the first team.

“I want to go as far as I can. When I was a player, I was always ambitious to play at the highest level and I was fortunate to do that. It will be absolutely the same when I eventually become a manager.

“I want to be the best I possibly can. I’m doing the badges through the Welsh FA, who have been very good and supportive.

“Obviously I’m at the beginning of the journey so I’m going to learn as much as I can, watching and studying games, and see where that takes me.”

Bamba: McCarthy can bring back confidence



Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy




2:56

Bamba reflects on Neil Harris’ sacking as Cardiff boss and gives his backing to his potential successor Mick McCarthy

Bamba was disappointed Neil Harris left the club but would welcome the appointment of Mick McCarthy as manager.

Harris was dismissed after Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat at home to QPR, which leaves Cardiff 15th in the Championship – 13 points adrift of the play-off places and nine above the relegation zone.

The Welsh club have moved swiftly to identify a replacement in former Republic of Ireland manager McCarthy.

“At this level, we all know that experience is massive,” said Bamba.

“You need to know the league inside out. I think if it is Mick McCarthy, he knows the league very well. He has proven at this level that he can be very, very good.

“I think we need someone to come and put the smiles back on our faces and give confidence back to the players, because you can see at the minute that the whole team is low on confidence.

“He’s got experience, I believe he can come and do that. So hopefully, if he got the job, he can come in and start changing the results.”

Bamba believes McCarthy could also help him with his own aspirations to become a manager after retirement.

“I know Mick from outside football, we’ve been in touch. He’s a good man and has always given me good advice,” added Bamba.

“If it was him, I’m sure he will help me develop and get better for me to become a manager. But the main thing for me at the minute is Cardiff City.

“Nobody is above the club. I feel bad and sad when I see the club in this position. We should be higher but the table never lies, so it’s up to us to get back on the training pitch with the new manager and start turning things around.”


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