A three- day capacity –enhancing clinic for Nigeria’s elite Coaches, powered by partner of the League Management Company (LMC), STAR Lager Beer and buoyed by English Premiership side, Arsenal FC began in Abuja on Tuesday.
A total of 30 elite Coaches, including Head Coaches of the 20 Nigeria Professional Football League clubs, were invited to the practical and theoretical sessions moderated by two Coaches from Arsenal FC of England. The theoretical classes are being held at the Media Centre of the National Stadium, Abuja with the practical experience at the NFF/FIFA Goal Project, Package B of the Stadium.
At Tuesday’s opening ceremony, the Portfolio Manager (National Premium Lager Brands) Nigerian Breweries, Tokunbo Adodo, said: “The coaching clinic is purely a technical football session to empower our League coaches with the required knowledge needed to develop the quality of the Nigerian League. We are confident that this will significantly improve the technical expertise of our local coaches.
“Charity begins at home. We launched this partnership with the LMC last year, and I can say we are honoured to be involved with a very professional outfit like LMC. We took the decision that as a result of the relationship with Arsenal FC, we should also do something for the local environment. This is just knowledge –sharing; we have bigger dreams.”
Simon McManus, one of the two coaches from Arsenal FC (the other being James Colinese), thanked the LMC and the NFF for facilitating the programme. “What we are here to do is to impart knowledge in a way. We are aware that Nigeria is a proud football nation with a rich history, so we are not here to force you to adopt the Arsenal FC way of playing, but to show an alternative. The philosophy of Arsenal FC is that whenever in possession of the ball, we must entertain the fans. We do everything to attract fans to the stadium. There is a marriage of football and business.”
In declaring open the programme, NFF 2nd Vice President/LMC Chairman, Mr. Shehu Dikko further underscored the essence of the clinic: “Knowledge is continuous. Last time we were here, it was for the U15 Coaches. Now, we are doing this for the elite Coaches because we place premium on capacity building. Part of the core of our contract with STAR is for development of the Nigerian game. At some point, administrators would also be involved. We charge the Head Coaches here to transfer whatever knowledge gained to their assistants, in order that far more people will benefit from the clinic.”
Also present at the occasion were LMC COO, Salihu Abubakar, NB PLC’s Vivian Ikem (Head of Government Relations), NB PLC’s consultants Mitchell Obi and Ejiro Omonode, NFF’s Director of Communications Ademola Olajire and NFF’s Assistant Director (Technical) Abdulrafiu Yusuf.
Among the participants at the opening ceremony were Isah Ladan Bosso (president of Nigeria Football Coaches Association and Head Coach, El-Kanemi Warriors), Solomon Ogbeide (Lobi Stars), Gbenga Ogunbote (Enyimba FC), Abubakar Bala (Niger Tornadoes), Fatai Osho (Remo Stars), Ibrahim Musa (Kano Pillars), Abdu Maikaba (Akwa United), Kennedy Boboye (Plateau United), Bala Nikyu (Wikki Tourists), Duke Udi (Sunshine Stars), Yaw Preko (FC IfeanyiUbah), Henry Makinwa (ABS FC), Abdullahi Biffo (Abia Warriors), Fidelis Ilechukwu (MFM FC), Manu Garba (Gombe United), Fatai Amoo (Shooting Stars), Kabiru Dogo (Nasarawa United), Baldwin Bazuaye (Katsina United), Sam John Obuh (Kwara United) and Monday Odigie.