Legends

Nigerians who distinguished themselves coaching foreign teams

Today, a lot of Nigerian coaches are testing their mettle handling foreign clubs. In the past such jobs were centred in the African continent, but these days, we have seen Nigerians coaching club sides in Europe. The number is growing by the day, from Mike Emenalo, to Sunday Oliseh, Daniel Amokachi, Emmanuel Amuneke and Maureen Mmadu, the list is growing as more ex-internationals are delving into coaching and acquiring CAF and FIFA coaching badges DAPO SOTUMINU reports

Adegboye Onigbinde (Trinidad & Tobago 2000-2001):

Chief Adegboye Onigbinde, one of the most successful Nigerian football managers in history was in Trinidad and Tobago from 2000 to 2001 where he helped transformed the country’s football from the most important stage of development, the national Under-17 team. He spread his tentacles to the grassroots where he fished out quality youth players who became top stars in the country’s football years after their discovery. After coaching at the club level at Water Corporateion of Ibadan and Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan, Onigbinde coached Nigeria national team at the 1984 Nations Cup where he helped the country to win silver. Majority of the players discovered for the 1984 Nations Cup played for Nigeria in the next 10 years. He returned to coach the Eagles at the FIFA World Cup 2002 emerging as the first Nigerian to handle a team at the World Cup finals.

Harrison Okagbue (Uganda 1999-2001):

One of the few Nigerians to have handled 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, Chairman Christian 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 tournament.

Maureen Mmadu (Avaldsens & Avaldsens 2012- present):

After playing for various teams in Europe and Norway especially, Maureen became the first Female Nigerian coach to handle a European team. She boasts of a UEFA C coaching license and since 2012 she has been the assistant coach of Avaldsnes Women Football Club 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 midfielder is also a Coach Developer and has stated her interest in the Super Falcons’ job. As a player she is the first Nigerian footballer, male and female to reach 100 caps in the history of the national team, playing for the Super Falcons.

Micheal Emenalo (Chelsea 2010):

Barely three weeks ago, the ex-Enugu Rangers and Super Eagles World Cup defender left his role as the Technical Director of Chelsea Fc after serving for upmost of 10 years in that role. Before his appointment as Technical Director of Chelsea, the Nigerian star had served as an Assistant coach of the English champions. 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 was appointed as the Technical Director of the team, a role he left early November. He has since been linked with a move to AS Monaco of France.

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. He helped them to a third place finish in the PSL league. Amodu could be listed among Nigerian football’s unsung hero after he managed the National team five times qualifying the Super Eagles for the World Cup on two occasions (but was never allowed to handle the team at the World Cup proper). He also led the Nigerian national team 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.

Culled from New Telegraph by Ike Onwubuya

Source: NewTelegrahOnline

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1975 African Club Champions Cup debacle, day Mehalla Saw Wahala

Source: https://niyitabiti.net/2017/07/1975-african-club-champions-cup-debacle-day-mehalla-saw-wahala/

 

As opponents of Barcelona FC coined “No mercy for Messi”, so did the slogan, “Mehalla will see Wahala”, was chanted by fans of Rangers in 1975 when Mehalla FC of Egypt came to Enugu for a return match after defeating Rangers 3 – 1 in Cairo. Did Mehalla see wahala? Find out.

In 1975, just a year after emerging as the double Champions in Nigeria Challenge Cup and National League, Rangers International Football Club hit Africa Club Cup Competition with a killer instinct. In its first match against the Accra Great Olympics, March 1975, Rangers defeated the Ghana team 2 – 0 in Accra Ghana; with Nigerian player, Christian Madu, who played for the Ghanaians, harassing Rangers throughout the match.

Two weeks later, in Lagos, Rangers stamped their authority over the Ghanaians by defeating them 2 – 1 through Alex Nwosu and Kenneth Abana with the visitors’ only goal scored by Christian Madu. Of course, Rangers “conscripted” Madu from Accra Great Olympics after the Match in Lagos and he was not allowed to go back to Ghana. He joined Rangers after the Lagos second leg match!

1975-african-club-champions-cup-debacle-day-mehalla-saw-wahalaMrs. Julie Alale
( Madam Rangers )

In the second round match against Young Africans of Tanzania, played on May 10 at the National Stadium Lagos, Ernest Okonkwo, the legendary radio Commentator had this to say of the match: “This is unbelievable….I cannot believe that Rangers that out played and outscored Great Olympics of Ghana last month is finding it difficult to score this Tanzania team.”

The match ended goalless in Lagos. Rangers prepared for the return leg in Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania, by staying put in Lagos instead of flying back to Enugu. In the return leg, two weeks later, Rangers played 1 – 1 draw with their hosts in Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania with ex-Nigeria Academic player, Alex Nwosu, scoring for Rangers. Thus, Rangers progressed on away goal advantage.

In the Quarter Finals, Rangers defeated Green Buffaloes of Zambia, a predominantly military team on 4 – 3 aggregate having drawn 2 – 2 in Lusaka, Zambia, earlier on September 14th 1975. Rangers FC equalizer after trailing 2 – 1 up to two minutes to go was so dramatic and unbelievable. “I collected a pass from my skipper and ran through the left flank ending on the corner flag and pulling the ball into the eighteen, which Stanley Okoronkwo nodded in for the equalizer”, said Francis Nwosu, the dogged Rangers left full back. In the second leg, in Lagos, Rangers came from behind after conceding an early goal to defeat the Zambians 2 – 1 and moved to the semi-finals against Mehalla F.C. of Egypt.

In the first leg of the semifinals, Rangers travelled to Cairo, Egypt, to confront Mehalla FC and the match was moved to the club’s home where they walloped Rangers 3 – 1. In that epoch match, only one woman was in the field: Mrs. Julie Alale. It was alleged that it was the presence of Madam Rangers that helped Rangers to score a goal. “The Mehalla FC Supporters were said to be fetish and had banned women from coming to the match. However, they could not stop Madam Rangers from entry into the field and that spoilt their charm” was the submission of Rangers Supporters Club member, the late Mr. Robinson Okpara, known as “Jagua nana”.

The truth, however, is that the Rangers officials, prior to the match, had virtually no knowledge about Mehalla FC. In that country, especially in that environment, women hardly mix up with men in public gathering. Secondly, Rangers greatest goalkeeper, Emma Okala, had developed some eye problem on the eve of the match. Ogidi Ibeabuchi was also said to have been slightly indisposed. The match ended in the tragic 3 – 1 whipping of Rangers. Whatever, Rangers lost the match 3-1 in Mehalla. Rangers returned to Enugu, pleaded with NFA to move the return leg to Enugu where they roasted Mehalla 3 – 0, and qualified for the finals.

Madam Rangers: Madam Rangers is Rangers and Rangers is Madam Rangers

Mrs. Julie Alale stands alone as the first nationally recognized female supporter of a major Nigerian football club. She deserves special mention in the history of Nigeria’s football. Mrs. Alale was flamboyant and notable everywhere she went with the club….That Mrs. Alale would be identified with the club was not by happenstance. The club’s history, closely associated with the Nigerian Civil War, mirrors Mrs. Alale’s involvement with Rangers.

She was the wife of Mr. Philip Alale, a trade unionist who was commissioned as a major in the Biafran Army before he was indicted for treason and executed. Mrs. Alale was then detained for a good part of the war…but her spirit endured.  It was not surprising then that she was the only lady among the various persons who met to establish the club at the end of the war on January 29, 1970. She had endured in her personal challenges and the Rangers club represented that spirit of endurance.

Mrs. Alale was to serve as the club’s Welfare Officer. She travelled with the club all over Africa. Some of these trips were made to difficult places but she was always easily recognizable as “Madam Rangers” with her usual hat to match her outfit….Ike Onwubuya

The most unforgettable of Mrs. Alale’s travels was to Cairo against Mehala in 1975. Women, at that time, were scarcely seen in public places without covering their face with the hijab, let alone in a stadium.  The Egyptians would have none of Mrs. Alale’s intent to be at the stadium for the game. She was harassed and threatened but she insisted, and with the support of the Nigerian delegates, Madam Rangers stood shoulder high as the only lady among thousands of fans who packed the Cairo Stadium to watch Rangers confront Mehalla. It was a triumph of spirit and commitment. It was a spirit that saw her through the death of her husband, Philip, the detentions in Biafra, and then the challenge of the cultural police in Cairo. It was the spirit of Julie ‘Madam Rangers’ Alale!

The post 1975 African Club Champions Cup debacle, day Mehalla Saw Wahalaappeared first on Vanguard News.

Ex-Rangers Star, Obiekwu, Slumps, Dies in Action

Tragedy has again struck Nigerian football after former Enugu Rangers star Henry Obiekwu slumped and died while playing a friendly in Enugu Monday.

Former Super Eagles defender Kingsley Obiekwu aka ‘Shagari’ confirmed the passing of his younger brother Henry.
Eye witnesses said right fullback Henry asked to be replaced during the friendly match with his youth team Samba FC at the UNEC Stadium in Enugu Monday morning after he complained of severe chest pain.

He later slumped and was rushed to several hospitals before he was confirmed dead at the Eastern Nigeria Medical Centre in Enugu. FC Taraba was Henry’s last club.

Source: https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2017/02/15/ex-rangers-star-obiekwu-slumps-dies-in-action/

Ex-Rangers embark on N500m Hall Of Fame Project

Source: http://m.guardian.ng/sport/ex-rangers-embark-on-n500m-hall-of-fame-project/

Former players of Rangers International football Club, Enugu are planning to establish a hall of fame project for soccer icons at the cost of N500 million.
The complex will house sporting facilities, shopping mall, event centre, clinic, restaurant, guest house among others, according to former members of the club.
Disclosing this in Enugu yesterday, former Green Eagles goalkeeper, who is also Vice Chairman, Ex-Rangers International board of Trustee, Chief Emmanuel Okala, stated that the main objective of the project was to use the proceeds to cater for the welfare of the ex-players and their families.