After Working With Him For Close To Two Years, I Came to The Conclusion That He Is The Best Nigerian Coach Around


My name is Adewale Ajayi, i am a licenced football intermediary, a match commissioner with repute, a respected football commentator and analyst, a former media officer of the Nigerian Under 20 national football team and above all, a major Stakeholder.

For 15 good years before I left Nigeria for greener pastures abroad, I have done businesses with Nigeria coaches. I have worked with many from close quarters, I have seen their pre match notes, I have sat down with many to discuss the beautiful game, I have seen them prepare their teams for matches, i have seen their training routines and I have come to the conclusion that, there are not too many sound and intelligent Nigerian coaches around.

However, in 2015, former NFF president Amaju Pinnick appointed me as the media officer of the Under 20 National team of Nigeria. That was the team that had the likes of Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze, Kelechi Nwankali, Orji Okonkwo, Kingsley Michael and a few more stars who have moved on to write their names in gold.

The head coach of that team, was Emmanuel Amunike. We traveled to North, South, East and Western part of Africa for friendlies and qualifiers and we won over 60 matches on the road. We trashed Burundi in Bujumbara and humbled Sudan in Omdurman. The team played with the confidence of Real Madrid and flourished with the brilliance of Barcelona they dazzled with the fluency of Arsenal and never showed any of Chelsea’s weaknesses.

The stars in this team shone on every match day, the unity in camp was superb. The training routine was second to none, the determination to win was top notch.

On match days, we travel to match venues not afraid of the outcome, all we thought about is how many goals we will score on the day. That team was just too good. Unfortunately, we didn’t qualify for the World Cup due to the nonchalant attitude of the then NFF towards our preparation.

The boys knew that the game against Sudan was their final qualifying match to the world cup and got scared that if they beat Sudan, the team will be decamped and their backlog of allowances will not be paid, so they went on a three day strike few days to the return leg of their home tie with the North Africans whom they have already defeated 2-1 in Omdurman.

That was the straw that break the camel’s back, as Nigeria lost 3-2 to Sudan in Lagos to kiss the World Cup goodbye. I wept on the day because I was sad that the world didn’t have an opportunity to see the best Under 20 national team ever assembled by Nigeria. A team comprising of young and enterprising players who one year ago, won the FIFA Under 17 World Cup in Chile.

What left me more devastated is the fact that one of Africa’s finest football coaches, Emmanuel Amunike didn’t have the opportunity to showcase his talents and his wards to the world audience. However I am happy to know that few years later, he went to Tanzania and qualified the Taifa stars to their first African Cup of Nations after over 30years.

It is public Knowledge that as one of the applicants for the Advertised Super Eagles job Emmanuel Amuneke, a Nigerian, possesses High Coaching Credentials including the Mandatory CAF A License and the prestigious UEFA Masters Degree Coaching Certificate; UEFA Pro License; UEFA A, B and C Licenses. Among the Front-runners, he is the only one who has qualified an African country for AFCON as he qualified the East African country Tanzania for AFCON after 30 years in the wilderness.

It is also on Record too, that Amuneke has developed the bulk of the present Super Eagles top players including the Reigning African Best Player of the Year, Victor Osimhen; AC Milan winger Samuel Chukwueze and Kelechi Nwakali whom he coached to win for Nigeria and Africa, the FIFA U-17 World Cup trophy twice as Assistant and Head Coach of the Golden Eaglets.
Above all, he has been FIFA and CAF Technical Study Group (TSG) Member in recent time. Both institutions don’t give novices such responsibility.

So who is still saying that our indigenous coaches cannot lead the Super Eagles?

Who is better to get the Best out of Victor Osimhen and Samuel Chukwueze in the present Super Eagles than the Man who “moulded” them to become the Stars of today?

Who can command Nigeria and Africa’s Poster Boy-Victor Osimhen’s Respect in the Super Eagles of today than the Coach he Decorated with his CAF Best Player of the Year Award and called him “My Mentor”?

I don’t have anything against Finidi, I am only saying that the only local coach we can trust to take us to Eldorado is Emmanuel Amunike, if not, let’s go and get a foreign coach. I rest my case.


We don’t have much time to plan.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here