As in different circles of public life, selection of national coaches turns into a sincerely charged issue and the most meriting isn’t generally the one who gets the job. It along these lines winds up noticeably more secure and all around pleasant to make due to an impartial foreigner.
Nigerian football coaches who cleared a path for indigenous tacticians from the nation to carry out their trade abroad, the onus has fallen on men of the present age to follow suit.
Just last week, former Nigerian international and U17 coach Emmanuel Amunike was appointed as the head coach of Sudanese top division club Al Khartoum Watani. The report of his appointment was greeted with positive reviews and great expectations as the pool of Nigerians coaching foreign clubs continues to increase.
It is the belief by many that this can only help the development of Nigerian coaches and also Nigerian football as well.
In the past, few Nigerian coaches headed only clubs and National teams in Africa but in recent times Nigerians are starting to get coaching jobs in leagues in Europe, and although they can be counted with the tip of the fingers, it’s only a matter of time before the number increases.
However, with ex-internationals delving into coaching and acquiring FIFA coaching badges, the number of Nigerian coaches heading abroad continue to grow.
Today Cheapgoals.com highlight Nigerian coaches testing their mettle at the top level.
■ Harrison Okagbue – Uganda 1999-2001
One of the few Nigerians to have coached a foreign team in the late 90s. Harrison became the coach of the Cranes of Uganda in 1999 and his time there spanned 3 years till 2001.
The ex-Eagles defender played in the Nigerian league in the 70’s with the now-defunct Sharks and Rangers before retiring in 1980. He moved to Uganda in 1999 and was appointed the coach of the Ugandan National team, however after a 3-0 loss to Togo at home in an African Nations Cup Qualifier he was sacked. Since then he hasn’t coached another National team and has retired from active sporting activities.
■ Christian Chukwu – Kenya (1998)
As a player, Chukwu was the first Nigerian to lift the African nations cup trophy, he is also ex-captain of Rangers International.
He started his coaching career in Lebanon in the mid-90s and was appointed as coach of the Kenyan national team in 1998 where he spent a year and failed to qualify them for any tourney.
■ Maureen Mmadu – Avaldsens & Avaldsens 2 (2012- present )
After playing for various teams in Europe and Norway especially, Maureen became the first Female Nigerian coach to handle a European team as a coach.
She boasts of a UEFA C coaching license and since 2012 she has been the assistant coach of Avaldsnes women FC, in Norwegian top flight while she doubles as the main coach of Avaldsens 2 (the junior team of Avaldsnes) in division 2 of the Norwegian female league football.
The Anambra born is also a coach developer and has stated her interest In the Super falcon’s job, as a player she is the first person to reach 100 caps with the super falcons.
■ Micheal Emenalo – Chelsea (2010)
Just recently the ex-Rangers and Super Eagles defender left his role as the Technical director of Chelsea Fc but before now, Emenalo has served as an Assistant coach in his Chelsea career.
He was promoted from the post of chief scout to an assistant coach of the first team in November 2010. However less than a year later he became appointed as the technical director of the team, a role he left earlier this month and since then he has been linked with a move to AS Monaco.
■ Shuaibu Amodu – Orlando Pirates (1996-1997)
The late tactician had handled a few Nigerian club sides in the late 80s and early 90s but in 1996 he was appointed the chief coach of South African side Orlando Pirates leading them to a 3rd place finish in the league.
Amodu could be listed among Nigerian football’s unsung hero after he managed the National team on several occasions qualifying the Super Eagles for the World cup on two occasions (but was never allowed to handle the team at the World Cup proper) and also leading them to the 3rd place finish at the African cup of nations. He died on the 10th of June 2016 just days after the death of Stephen Keshi.
■ Daniel Amokachi – Js Hercules (2016-present)
The bull started his managerial career with Nasarrawa United in 2006 before becoming assistant coach in the national team setup later on in 2007 and in 2013 after a return to the Super Eagles dugout, he won the African nations cup as assistant to Stephen Keshi, he coached the likes of Enyimba and Ifeanyi Ubah Fc as well before moving abroad to Finland.
He was appointed as Coach of Finnish third division side Js Hercules in 2016 and has recently been promoted to the post of Technical Director.
■ Emmanuel Amunike – Al Khartoum Watani (2017- )
The former U17 coach of Nigeria was appointed last week by the Sudanese top division club, but before now he has handled Saudi’s top division club Al Hazam as assistant coach in 2008 and after that, he returned to Nigeria with Julius Berger and later on the now-defunct Ocean boys
He won the FIFA U17 world cup in 2013 with the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria, the fourth time the Africans had won it and in 2015 he led the u20 team to the FIFA u20 world cup in New Zealand where they were knocked out in the round of 16 by Germany.
■ Sunday Oliseh – Verviétois(2007) & Fortuna Sittard (2016-present)
Sunday Oliseh needs little introduction as a player and as a coach, he is gradually building a good reputation albeit with a tint of controversy.
Oliseh started his coaching career in Belgium with youth teams in the Belgian 3rd Division Verviers, notably the Under 19 team and Graduated to the first team as chief coach season 2008–09 Verviers. During the 2014–15 season, he was appointed as the Chief Coach and Club Manager of RCS VISE Belgium 3rd Division.
He moved to Netherlands in 2016 after a controversial stay as Super Eagles coach, he currently coaches 2nd division club Fortuna Sittard. Last season he stirred the team from relegation to safety with impressive performances and this season his team sits third with 7 wins 2 draws and 3 losses on the log with promotion in view. He has broken and created a lot of records with the team this season and it remains to be seen if he will lead Sittard to the Eredivisie at the end of the season.
■ Stephen Keshi – Togo (2004-2008, 2011) & Mali(2008-2010)
The big boss left a lot of records and achievements that current and aspiring Nigerian coaches would hope to match in their career, although the late ex-Super Eagles captain and coach didn’t manage any club, he did wonders with Emmanuel Adebayor led Togo team and later on the Mali national team.
He helped The Sparrow Hawks qualify for their first and only World Cup appearance till date in 2006, however, he was sacked before the World Cup proper due to a dismal outing at the 2006 AFCON where they crashed out in the group stage and he was replaced by German coach Otto Pfister.
He returned to coach them in 2007 after their dismal World Cup outing and led the team for another one year before being appointed as Mali’s chief coach to the 2010 AFCON where they crashed out of the group stage as well.
However, he became one of only two people, along with Egypt ‘s Mahmoud El-Gohary, to have won the Africa Cup of Nations as both a player and a coach after leading Nigeria to her third title in 2013. He also led the team to the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil.
On the 16 November 2013, Keshi’s Nigeria secured qualification to the 2014 World Cup by beating Ethiopia 4–1 on aggregate in a playoff, setting a record in African football by being the first African coach to successfully qualify two African nations (Nigeria and Togo) to the World Cup Finals.
He also helped Nigeria become the first country to achieve an African Cup of Nations trophy and World Cup qualification, both in 2013.