The People's Elephant set to return
For the second year, former African champions, Enyimba, will not
be among Africa’s best and the club are in a hurry to reverse the trend.
“Enyimba is one of Africa’s best and we want to return to the> continent in 2014,” Enyimba supremo, Felix Anyansi said to
To ensure turnaround maintenance is achieved, the Aba side have
contracted former Super Eagles' assistant coach, Salisu Yusuf.
Yusuf becomes the 11th manager at Enyimba since the club became a
powerhouse in 2001 when Godwin Uwua won their first league title. The duo of
Okey Emordi and Austin Eguavoen have coached the club twice.
Despite their status as Nigeria’s most successful side since the dawn of
the new millennium, Enyimba still struggle to retain coaches.
The assignment for the former Ranchers Bees and El-Kanemi star is
simple. Get Enyimba a place on the continent in 2014.
Having worked at Kano Pillars, where he narrowly missed the league
title in 2010, Yusuf understands the body language.
Although it’s his first time as manager of a team in the south, the
Zaria-born Yusuf brings a wealth of experience to the Elephants after spells
with the Super Eagles, Flying Eagles, Kano Pillars and Lobi Stars,
Yusuf had a torrid time at Lobi, but has since used the experience to
earn full marks at Pillars, which earned him the chance to work as one of
Samson Siasia’s assistants.
Last term, he worked at lower division side, Taraba United.
Former FC CapeTown and Warri Wolves gaffer, Paul Aigbogun as well
as Imama Amapakabo will assist Yusuf.
A New Era Begins
Yusuf started his reign as manager at the Agege Stadium, where Enyimba
edged lower division side, Bolowotan 2-1 as part of their
build-up to the new season.
“It’s a good match and we will continue with more matches this
weekend to perfect our strategy.
“We have two matches in Ota and then we shall return to Agege for
the last match on Sunday,” he told supersport.com.
Anyansi remains confident that Yusuf can change the fortunes of the
"I believe Salisu Yusuf is the right man to move the club to where
we want to go.
"He has an outstanding reputation for his technical knowledge of the
game and led Kano Pillars to their first league title. He also worked well
with the Samson Siasia led technical crew of the Super Eagles.
"Salisu shares our long-term ambitions and ethos of playing great
football and winning trophies and I believe he will be able to do so now
with all the support we will give him. Every member of Enyimba and the
Government of Abia State will give him everything he needs to succeed,”
Anyansi told the club website, enyimbafc.net.
Despite the exit of Kalu Uche, Razaq Adegbite, Samuel Tswanya,
Gbolahan Salami, Richard Ocheayi and inspirational skipper Josiah
Maduabuchi, Enyimba retained some their big names like Uwadiegwu Ugwu,
Rasheed Olabiyi, Uche Agbo, Obinna Elegi, Chinedu Udoji and goalkeeper
Godwin Paul amongst others.
The club have attracted some new players.
Femi Thomas: Akwa United
Umar Danlami, Bala Mohammed: Jigawa Golden Stars
Musa Musa: Kaduna United
Wasiu Sowemimo: Dolphins
Fidelis Saviour, Benjamin Ishaya, Abdulrasak Aliyu: FC Taraba
Ukeyima Akombo: Sunshine Stars
Michael Okoyoh: Warri Wolves
Sibi Gwar: Niger Tornadoes
Siman Yusuf: Kano Pillars
Coaches since 2001
Godwin Uwua: 2001
Kosta Papic: 2001 - 2002
Kelechi Emeteole: 2002
Kadiri Ikhana: 2003
Miroslav Urukalo: 2004
Okey Emordi: 2004 - 2005
Alphonsus Dike: 2005 – 2006
Maurice Cooreman: 2007
Austin Eguavoen: 2008 – 2009
Okey Emordi: 2009 – 2011
Austin Eguavoen: 2011 – 2012
Abdul Maikaba: 2012 (Interim)
Salisu Yusuf: 2012