Shefki Kuqi dreams of being Ipswich Town manager one day
- Credit: Archant
Former Ipswich Town fans’ favourite Shefki Kuqi is a man with a plan.
That plan, he hopes, will one day see him in the dugout at Portman Road.
The Blues cult hero, who played for 11 different British clubs in his career, is back in his native Finland and sporting sharp suits on the touchline as he builds his fledgling managerial career, in charge of Inter Turku.
It’s his third role since returning home, with the previous two ensuring a steep learning curve.
His spells at FC Honka and PK-35 Vantaa paint a picture of the harsh realities of life managing outside Europe’s major leagues, with financial trouble and off-field issues forcing Kuqi to dig into his own pockets at times to ensure survival.
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He was successful, though, securing promotion to the top-flight with a Vantaa side that included a certain Pablo Counago and then earning the top job at Inter, with the season beginning in the spring.
While feeling great pride to be in charge of a club the size of Inter, Kuqi’s horizons are not limited to the Finnish Veikkausliga.
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He would love to return to England, where he also played for the likes of Sheffield Wednesday, Blackburn, Crystal Palace and Newcastle, with a reunion with Ipswich high on his agenda.
In an exclusive interview for our Kings of Anglia magazine, the 40-year-old said: “Being in England to play was a dream come true for me and it’s the same as a player and as a manager – I hope one day to get the chance.
“I’ve been for a couple of interviews and came really close to getting those jobs, but sometimes it’s not meant to be and I have no regrets.
“I’m in a good place at Inter, trying to get things organised and hopefully I’ll do a good job, get good results and hope that chance (in England) will come again.
“Ipswich is always there. You always dream, but one day I dream to get that chance to come back and manage Ipswich.
“That place, even the people nothing to do with the club, has always been very nice to me. I follow all the games, everything that happens and it’s been a bit disappointing to see them struggle.”
You can read the full interview with Kuqi in the third edition of Kings of Anglia, in shops tomorrow. You can order a copy here.