Adjusting to life in Montana hasn’t always been easy for Didier Ndedi.
How could it be? Ndedi, a native of the west-central African country of Cameroon, has been forced to overcome a language barrier, cultural differences and a distinct climate change since he came to the United States.
But the basics of soccer are the same anywhere in the world. So when Ndedi was hired to become the boys soccer coach at Billings Central, it felt right.
“It’s not easy. Especially in Montana,” said Ndedi, who played professionally in Cameroon and other places in Europe and Southeast Asia. “It’s very cold. Because I’ve been in Germany, I have an idea of cold, but it’s still difficult.
“But, man, we’re human and we have to live in this world. So we have to adjust and make it work.”
Making it work has been Ndedi’s specialty with the Rams this year. The first-year coach has guided Central to a 12-1-0 record and a spot in the Class A state semifinals, where it will host Stevensville Saturday at Wendy’s Field on the campus of Rocky Mountain College.
Not knowing what to expect early on, the Rams thoroughly responded to Ndedi’s coaching style, which stresses a sound technical game and all-around teamwork.
“The kids are amazing,” Ndedi said, a deep accent rolling off his tongue. “They listen a lot. And the most I’m happy about is that they’re very, very respectful. They’re very, very careful about what they’re saying and very respectful of each other. They never complain in the game.
“They just want to have fun, that’s what I did understand with them.”
Via Charles Tiayon