Former Nigerian winger and coach of Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) Premiership side, Heartland Queens FC, Stella Mbachu has picked former Nigerian coach, Edwin Okon as the best hand for the vacant Super Falcons coaching job.
The immediate past occupier of the position, Thomas Dennerby left the multiple African champions after guiding the side to 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) success in Ghana and a round of 16 performance at the 2019 Fifa Women World Cup in France.
At the moment the football governing body in the land, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is on a rigorous shopping exercise within and outside carefully searching for a credible and reputable replacement for the Swedish tactician.
The former Nigerian whiz kid dynamite counselled the NFF not to waste further time searching for a coach but to proceed immediately to recall the most decorated Rivers Angels gaffer for the onerous Super Falcons job.
“Of course, coach Okon can do it again and bring back the glory days of Super Falcons same as my other retired colleagues, Florence Omagbemi, Eucharia Uche, Ann Agumanu-Chiejine, among others, they have at different times all performed creditably well for the team. Okon can still bring back the old glories and even surpass the side’s all time best performances given the opportunity to once again superintend the affairs of the team.
“There is none of the indigenous coaches that will not perform given the opportunity and right atmosphere to handle the team because they know the players inside out.
“It’s a credit and big plus for a coach to know his/her players quite well, what they can or not do at any given time unlike the non-indigenous ones who will start by first making enquiries of the players.
“One of the qualities that stands Okon out is the fact that he has been with almost all the players doing it for the team both local and foreign-based professionals, he has been in the local league for ages, he has coached many of them, he knows what they can do at any particular moment, he knows them down to their respective club sides, he has played against them as head coach of Rivers Angels. Even at the national teams’ level he is not the type of coach you need to introduce a player to because he would have already known the player, know her pluses and minuses and know what to do to bring out the best in a particular player to deliver the goods.
“In terms of discipline, Okon is a house-hold name and the most disciplined coach among his colleagues. You can crosscheck his career profile with the national teams and Rivers Angels, the number of years he has spent at the Port Harcourt side without any trace of stain.
“Okon treasures discipline greatly, he will always tell you the truth no matter whose ox is gored, he will always tell you to respect football, he will tell you that football is a strict game, insisting that if you do not respect football, football will not respect you. After he would have spoken to you and you still did not do well that means you have a problem,” said the former Rivers Angels goal poacher.
Mbachu said that she will always prefer indigenous coaches to their foreign counterparts to be in-charge of the nation’s senior women team – Falcons because of their age long proven and tested pedigrees.
“For me I prefer indigenous coaches for Super Falcons coaching job, I don’t like foreign coaches for the job.
“What do they have to offer us; I do not see anything spectacular they will offer that the indigenous coaches have not given and will still give us.
“The only foreign coach we had won AWCON in Ghana and took us to France to end campaign at round of 16, I congratulate him.
“However, that’s not the first time Super Falcons would achieve that performance. In fact, Super Falcons reached the quarterfinals in 1999 Fifa Women World Cup in USA with local coaches and several African titles.
“We were in a weak group at France 2019 World Cup compared with our past groups in previous World Cups so I do not see any need or reason for a foreign coach. There is absolutely nothing the foreign coach will offer that the indigenous coaches will not offer even double.
“Our most revered coach Ismaila Mabo has come out to advise the NFF to go for an indigenous coach, Kadiri Ikhana, too, has already advised NFF to go for indigenous coach. The truth is that the indigenous coaches know these players more than the foreign ones, they know them well and well-positioned to work with them.
“NFF should hand over the affairs of Super Falcons to the indigenous coaches and provide them with all the incentives they usually make available to the foreign coaches and they will perform exceedingly well,” said the Most Valuable Player (MVP) at South Africa 2010 African Women Championship (AWC).
Okon was at the helm of affairs of the U20 women side, Falconets for several years with great achievements before heading to the Super Falcons to win the 2014 African Women’s Championship (AWC) title in Namibia and guided the side to the 2015 Fifa Women World Cup in Canada.
Okon has been in-charge of the Jewels of Rivers leading the side to win virtually all the domestic trophies in the land on numerous occasions.
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