Terrors joint-boss Bosah reveals debt of gratitude to parents – as they took drastic action to stop him falling in with “wrong crowd”

BY RICHARD CAWLEY
richard@slpmedia.co.uk

Tooting & Mitcham co-manager Ashley Bosah has revealed how his parents sent him to live with grandparents in Africa to prevent him falling in with the “wrong crowd” in South London.

The 31-year-old is in joint charge of the Bostik League South Central Division side along with Cornelius Nwadialor. The pair were appointed in June after Frank Wilson moved on following relegation from the Premier Division.

Bosah, who had a spell playing for Peckham Town, started coaching in his early twenties. He also helped out at the St Matthew’s Project at Brockwell Park – which offers free sports sessions to young people aged from three to 25. Bosah was brought up in Battersea but moved to Zambia at the age of seven, spending five years out there.

“I was in with the wrong crowd and my mother sent me to Africa to live with my grandparents,” he explained. “They wanted to keep me away from trouble and have a clear path in life.

“At the time I thought my parents had abandoned me, you don’t understand what they are doing.

“But as I got older I’m 100 per cent grateful to them. As I got older I could see the changes in me. A lot of my friends from Battersea are behind bars or doing this and that. So I appreciate my parents did what they did.

“It moulded me and shaped my character. It gave me a work ethic, to work hard for something. That mentality has lived on – I’m happy sorting out the kit and other bits and pieces around the football club.

“It also makes you humble, seeing a side of the world where a lot of people are not so fortunate as us.”

Tooting are 14th in the division with four points from as many matches.

“The target is the play-offs,” said Bosah. “We are not here just to survive and be around mid-table in the division. We want to try and achieve something this season.

“We’ve still got a lot of the base of the squad from last season – Peter Wedgeworth, Sol Patterson-Bohner, Jordan Wilson [player-coach], Isiah Jones, Dominic Morgan-Griffiths and Dan Clements. But about 40 per cent are fairly new, which is quite a big change.

“We are plodding along – not quite driving to where I think we should be. I still feel there is more to come but we are a work in progress.”

Bosah stepped up to be Wilson’s number two last season when Paul Dale left to take joint charge of Whyteleafe. Dale is now assistant manager at Kingstonian.

So how does it work in terms of making calls on footballing matters with Nwadialor?

“Most of the time I tend to take decisions on a lot of things,” said Bosah.

“But also we work quite easily together, we’ve done that for the last two and a half years with the development squad.

“Plus we have got Jordan in the framework. He assists us in coming to a conclusion because he can shed light on things too. Ninety per cent of the time we’re on the same wavelength.

“Myself and Cornelius got asked for ideas when Frank left about what would we do if we were in this role. While we knew other people applied, when you are asked those questions and are in the senior management then you get the feel you are probably being considered.

“It made sense for us to be given the reins as we both knew the club so well.”

Dulwich Hamlet have been drawn at home to Tonbridge Angels in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup. The match takes place at Imperial Fields on September 22.

IMAGE BY KEITH GILLARD

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