• Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

BALLPOINT: THE “KITIKATA-KATAKITI” AND “AROMA STYLEE” OF NIGERIAN COACHING SYSTEM IN THE EVOLUTION OF FOOTBALL

ByAlibor Andrew

Sep 23, 2023 , , ,



The Moustached Journalist says;

It is more quintessential for a coach to propel his team in line with basic philosophies of modern football (peculiar styles and patterns of play, strategic planning to overshadow the opponent’s formations, sufficient team-talking at intervals of play, in-play analytics, tactical mind games, psychology just to mention a few).

All these are the finest attributes a classed tactician embodies from my perception; not just a random guy touring the touchlines, serving a subset of self-chosen instructions, and furiously yelling at a team of eleven professionals who seemed confused, perhaps.

However, this is disbelieved by many as it is the opposite of what is expected of a manager in this era of the game, even though, that may seem to be the case in this part of the world. Nigerian coaches at large, have barely done so well to fill the inquiry for knowledge, by enrolling for lucrative professional courses in the sport that will possibly help them strive immensely, just as their foreign counterparts on the global stage.

A renowned and veteran Sports Journalist, Ade Ojeikere, once bemoaned the drought of inquisitiveness amongst Nigerian coaches about the game in today’s reality.

“Time To Grade Nigerian Coaches”, in one of his many articles with THE NATION he said: “In other climes, Grade A coaches’ remunerations are provocative with all details spelt out to clubs in need of their service. Of course, these coaches know their worth and wouldn’t bend over for less. Grading of the domestic coaches would help improve the quality of coaching since the Grade A would routinely be exposed to refresher courses and retraining on the modern tricks of the game which evolves monthly.”

Former Enyimba International coach, Usman Abdallah in an interview with Brila 88.9 FM Lagos held in April 2023 revealed one of the reasons behind the failure of football coaches in Nigeria and said that some of his colleagues have not upgraded their certificates in the last 15 years.

The entirety of Amaju Pinnick as the President of the Nigeria Football Federation, there was no significant achievement recorded in the revampment of the Nigerian coaching system. It was always the same old story, while many of our local coaches struggled to adapt to the ever-evolving football world.

As of today, many Nigerian coaches don’t have CAF licences because those in charge of our football have failed to put things in the right perspective. Even the few ones who have managed to upgrade their licences are spending exorbitantly to acquire such knowledge yet are constantly ignored.

Football in the country may continue to suffer as a result of the absence of good coaching. The crop of finest coaching talents from the topmost to the lowest cadres of Nigerian football nowadays would hardly secure a job in any third-tier league clubs in Europe because there is almost no development in that regard, greatly due to the NFF’s failures. With the hope that this incumbent Ibrahim Musa Gusau-led administration would drive innovations that would better the Nigerian coaching system.

I bet to defer that only Remo Stars and one or two local clubs in the Nigerian Premier League can singlehandedly afford to sponsor their coaching and backroom staff on lucrative professional courses overseas, arguably, even on the continent. It is so impossible to reap what you never sow, not to mention somewhere you didn’t even sow a dime. One can’t give what he doesn’t have, so in the same light, one can’t have what he doesn’t value.

One may not necessarily blame these coaches; with many of them being underpaid, less appreciated, even owed a backlog of salaries comprising into months, and yet are mostly threatened to get axed at any time by their so-called employers, not even starting with the Super Eagles gaffer, Jose Peseiro as a perfect example of unpaid salaries and job insecurity.

Shooting Stars Head Coach, Gbenga Ogunbote, in an exclusive interview with Jonny Edward as extracted from an online publication of PUNCH NEWSPAPER, dated 9th of June 2023, had this to say about the horrible experiences faced by Nigerian coaches.

“We have foreign coaches that make costly mistakes, but no one calls for their heads the same way they do when it’s the local coaches. The criticism is different. Imagine that you have a contract with a coach and before he assumes his position his future is already tied to results. It makes such a coach work under fear of failure because he will need results at all costs to win and keep his job. He won’t have a long-term plan or think of the future of the team, which is what we lack. However, we run our indigenous coaches down ourselves.”

Coaches, oftentimes, are bound to underperform when they perceive that their jobs could be on the line. This, alone, would frighten their spirits and put them under unneeded pressure to deliver by any means possible.

Football is a professional sport and should be treated as such by everyone involved. Most Nigerian coaches, irrespectively, have a lot to do with coping with the constantly changing ideas in football. Otherwise, they would find it more difficult to close the gap of knowledge about the game between themselves and that of their foreign counterparts.

Therefore, there is no right time but now for respective football administrators and stakeholders in the country to profusely invest in new talents and revamp the old ones in the Nigerian coaching system. This, however, may seem costly to achieve but its result will eventually be a fruitful business, only when these coaches are autonomously charged with the manpower to excel.

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