Paul Okoku Ignites the Flame

Edwin  - CEO May 12, 2024
Updated 2024/05/12 at 4:29 PM
5 Min Read
Paul Okoku
Paul Okoku

Why I Back Finidi George as Head Coach of the Super Eagles

Down Memory Lane


By Paul Okoku


As the dawn breaks on a new era for Nigerian football, the announcement of Finidi George as the new chief coach of the Super Eagles reverberates across the nation, stirring a sense of anticipation and hope among football enthusiasts.


While I may not be intimately familiar with his coaching credentials, something about Finidi resonates deeply within me—a sense of confidence emanating from his humble demeanor and echos of his illustrious playing career. This indomitable spirit, reminiscent of the legendary Stephen Keshi, compels me to throw my support behind him.


In the wake of Keshi’s passing, there is a palpable yearning for an indigenous coach to rise to the occasion and carry forward his legacy of success. Like Keshi, Finidi embodies the virtues of resilience and determination, which transcend tactical prowess on the pitch.


As we embark on this new footballing journey, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) must extend to Finidi George the same respect and support afforded to his foreign counterparts. Transparent contracts, stipulating payments in US Dollars, and publicly disclosed salaries akin to what obtains in European and American football, are not extravagant requests. Rather, they are essential pillars of a nurturing environment conducive to success.


Additionally, granting Finidi the freedom to handpick his coaching staff and outlining clear roles and responsibilities in his contract is crucial to fostering a supportive and conducive working environment. Furthermore, this agreement must be in place before the coach begins his job, thereby ensuring clarity and commitment from both parties.


Moreover, considerations such as providing a vehicle and assigning a driver and a comprehensive benefits package for the Chief Coach position are necessary to ensure fairness and equality for all coaches, regardless of nationality or race.


By addressing these fundamental aspects, the NFF can uphold the principles of fairness and transparency, setting a precedent for the treatment of indigenous coaches in the footballing landscape.


However, beyond the realm of administrative formalities lies the heart of the matter: Finidi’s ability to inspire and lead. As a tactician with a visionary outlook, he holds the potential to unlock the latent talent within our squad and craft a dynamic, attacking style of play that captivates audiences worldwide.


Crucially, Finidi must balance humility and assertiveness, treating players with the dignity they deserve while instilling a culture of mutual respect and accountability. Only then can he truly harness the collective potential of the Super Eagles and propel them to greater heights on the international stage.


With crucial qualifying matches looming on the horizon, including a much-anticipated rematch against South Africa hungry for revenge, the stakes couldn’t be higher. But as we stand on the precipice of a new era in Nigerian football, let us rally behind Finidi George—the beacon of hope who will guide our team to glory.


Traditional Wisdom:


In our quest for a coach who embodies the virtues of humility, accountability, and respect, we must not forget the legacy of the late Stephen Keshi, who was a no-nonsense leader and commanded respect from homegrown talents and internationally renowned players. His unwavering belief in the potential of home-based players is a testament to the wealth of talent within our shores.


As Keshi once emphatically told me, “Isn’t this country Nigeria of ours that produced the likes of Segun Odegbami, Paul Okoku, Chibuzor Ehilegbu, Yisa Shofoluwe, Adokiye Amesiemaka, Godwin Odiye, Henry Nwosu, Felix Owolabi, Andrew Uwe and Thompson Usiyan?” Indeed, it is time to embrace our indigenous talents with the opportunities they deserve to shine on the world stage.


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