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