Nigeria has not only developed some of the best footballers to grace the youth game, but on the touchline, their coaches have shaped these Footballers.
Creating a list of the men deemed to be the greatest Nigeria talent developers is as tough as putting your kids in an order of preference. There are some obvious choices, but whether it be due to their influence on the game, success or just the respect they command, narrowing down the list is not easy.
Here are the six greatest youth managers to ever come out of Nigeria.
6. Emmanuel Amunike
As a player, he Amunike won the Africa Cup of Nations, Olympic Games and Afro/Asian competitions. Not bad, he won the 2015 FIFA U17 World Cup as a coach.
Amunike lists Zamalek, Barcelona and Albacete as his former clubs.
5. Manu Garba
Players such as Kelechi Iheanacho, Taiwo Awoniyi, Isaac Success, Wilfred Ndidi and Dele Alampasu starred in the youth sides that Manu Garba built.
He was the head coach of Nigeria at the 2013 World Cup that the Golden Eaglets won.
4. Fanny Amun
Amun’s coaching career might not get better than lifting the U17 World Cup in 1993.
He was the manager of the “Fumbling and Wobbling” Flying Eagles squad at the 1995 Africa U20 Cup of Nations.
Fans will always remember fondly for guiding the U17 team to the Meridean Cup two years later.
3. Samson Siasia
Success is not always measured in trophies and gold, sometimes it’s more important to look at what someone has achieved, what they brought to the game and how they changed it. That is why Siasia is still one of the most respected coaches in Nigeria.
He helped nurture the Flying Eagles to the final of 2005 U20 World Cup.
2. Sebastian Brodrick-Imasuen
A successful club manager in his own right – he won the U17 World Cup once and helped Nigeria reach the final of U20 World Cup final.
His team may not have been flamboyant or eye-catching, but they were well-organised and disciplined.
Imaseun knew that defence was their strength and let them lead from the back, it was a masterstroke in knowing what makes your squad tick and the rest, as they say, is history.
1. Yemi Tella
Baba Tella’s place at the top table of youth football management should never be belittled of forgotten.
Taking up the offer of coaching the Golden Eaglets for Korea 2007, no one gave the former NIS instructor a chance of success. However, he tinkered the team to the title.