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Coaches and Coaching

The history of coaching in Nigeria, naturally, dates back to the early days of the game in the country. As for organized football, the first notable coaches were those who led Marine FC and Corinthian FC to the final of the 1st Challenge Cup in 1945.

At national team level, the first –ever Coach of the national team was Mr. John Finch, who was attached to the UK Tourists of 1949 as they toured the United Kingdom in August of that year. Mr. Finch was also in charge when Nigeria played her first official international, a 2-0 victory over Sierra Leone at the National Stadium, Freetown on October 8, 1949.

The first indigenous Coach of the Nigeria national team was Dan Anyiam, who himself was a national team star in the 1950s and 1960s. However, the Senior National Team (at various times UK Tourists, Red Devils, Green Eagles, Super Eagles) has had more expatriate coaches than indigenous ones.

Between 1960 (the year of flag independence and the year Nigeria was officially affiliated to world governing body FIFA and 2008 (a period of 48 years), we employed 15 (Fifteen) expatriate coaches, from Europe, South America and the Middle East.

The men who have coached the national senior team:

John Finch (England: 1949)

Dan Anyiam (Nigeria: 1955, 1959, 1962, 1964-1965)

Les Courtier (England: 1956-1957, 1960)

Eric Jones (England: 1958)

Moshe Beth-Halevi (Israel: 1960-1961)

George Vadar (Hungary: 1961-1963)

Jesse Carver (England: 1963)

Jorge Penna (Brazil: 1963-1964, 1971-1974)

Josef Ember (Hungary: 1965-1968)

Sabino Barinaga (Spain: 1968-1969)

Heinz Marotzke (Germany: 1970-71, 1974)

Peter ‘Eto’ Amaechina (Nigeria: 1973)

Othman Calder (Germany: 1974)

Buba Mihailovic (Yugoslavia: 1975)

Jelisavcic Tihomir-Tiko (Yugoslavia: 1975-1978)

Carl O’Dwyer (England: 1979)

Otto Gloria (Brazil: 1979-1982)

Gottlieb Goeller (Germany: 1981)

Adegboye Onigbinde (Nigeria: 1983-1984, 2002)

Chris Udemezue (Nigeria: 1984-1985)

Patrick Ekeji (Nigeria: 1985)

Manfred Hoener (Germany: 1987-1989)

Paul Hamilton (Nigeria: 1987, 1989)

Clemens Westerhorf (Netherlands:1989-1994)

Amodu Shaibu(Nigeria: 1994-1995, 1999, 2001-2002, 2008-2010, 2014)

Carlos Alberto Torres (Brazil: 1995)

Johannes Bonfrere (Netherlands: 1995-1996, 1999-2001)

Philippe Troussier (France: 1997)

Monday Sinclair (Nigeria: 1997)

Bora Milutinovic (Serbia: 1998)

Thijs Libregts (Netherlands: 1998-1999)

Christian Chukwu (Nigeria: 2002-2005)

Austin Eguavoen(Nigeria: 2005-2006)

Berti Vogts (Germany: 2007-2008)

Samson Siasia (Dec. 2010 – Oct. 2011)

Stephen Keshi (Nov. 2011 – Oct. 2014)

Stephen Keshi (April 2015- June 2015)

Sunday Oliseh (July 2015- February 2016)

Gernot Rohr  (August 2016-)


Now that the number of national teams has gone to 11, the number of national Coaches has also skyrocketed. Aside from the Head Coaches, there are assistants and goalkeeper trainers.



SUPER EAGLES:  Gernot Rohr- Technical Adviser, Super Eagles; Salisu Yusuf - Chief Coach; Imama Amapakabo- Assistant Coach; Alloy Agu- Goal Keeper's Trainer

U-23 MEN’S TEAM (OLYMPIC EAGLES): Samson Siasia (Head Coach); Fatai Amoo (Assistant Coach)

U-20 MEN’S TEAM (FLYING EAGLES): Emmanuel Amuneke- Head Coach, Emeka Amadi- Assistant Coach, Kabiru Baleria- Assistant Coach

U-17 BOYS’ TEAM (GOLDEN EAGLETS): Manu Garba- Head Coach; Nduka Ugbade- Assistant Coach; Atuni Ali- Assistant Coach

SENIOR WOMEN’S TEAM (SUPER FALCONS): Florence Omagbemi- Head Coach; Ann Chiejine- Assistant Coach; Perpetual Nkwocha- Assistant Coach



Nigeria has won three Africa Cup of Nations titles, the first two under expatriate coaches. In 1980, Otto Gloria (Brazil) was in charge, and in 1994, Dutchman Clemens Westerhorf was at the head. When Nigeria mounted the podium to collect the Olympic gold in Atlanta in 1996, another expatriate, Dutchman Johannes Bonfrere was Head Coach. In 2013, indigenous Stephen Keshi led the Super Eagles to win the trophy in South Africa.

Also, indigenous Tunde Disu led the U-20 team to FIFA World Cup silver in 1989, and Samson Siasia was in charge when the team repeated the feat in 2005. Indigenous Sebastian Brodericks-Imasuen led the Golden Eaglets that won first FIFA Junior World Cup in 1985, before Fanny Amun (1993), Yemi Tella, now late (2007) and Manu Garba (2013).

The previous administrations took abiding interest in the development of Nigeria Coaches. At the beginning of the year 2009, the Sani Lulu Abdullahi administration commenced a much –applauded grading programme for all Nigerian coaches, with a view of isfting the wheat from the chaff. All active coaches were graded, and this continued under the Aminu Maigari team, which started the CAF Licensing programme .