I know I will coach SuperEagles someday: Amokachi
In this exclusive interview with Naij.com, former Nigeria international and newly-appointed technical adviser of Ifeanyi Ubah FC, Daniel Amokachi, speaks on his new appointment, his Super Eagles coaching return, among other issues.
How do you feel about your recent appointment as the technical adviser of Ifeanyi Ubah FC?
First of all, I think it's a honour to be viewed and to be given the responsibility to handle a football team. That's the life of a football coach. You also have to appreciate people who say this is the right person that can take me to the next level. I appreciate the trust coming from his excellency, Chief Ifeanyi Ubah, it means a lot.
Daniel Amokachi (left) and Chief Ifeanyi Ubah, Chairman of Ifeanyi Ubah FC after the unveiling of the new technical adviser at the Rojenny International Stadium, Oba, Anambra state on Sunday, August 9, 2015. Photo: Damilare Okunola
Do you think you have what it takes to take the team to its desired destination?
Do I think? It is my job, and I do not have to think about anything. It is not a sport where you can come out and say that you can do this or do that, because it is a team sport and not an individual game. There are players, there are coaches to work with, there are teams to play against and that is football.
We have to take things step by step, game by game and see where one ends. Hopefully, we can get the team to team to the desired stage for this season. Then, we can start afresh with the boys from next season and see where we go from there. The players would have understood my philosophy, how I want the game played by next season, and by the special grace of God, we can fly high.
Did the club owners set a mandatory target for you, maybe an end-of-the season spot?
Yeah, basically, the ambition of the owner, Chief Ifeanyi Ubah, is that he wants continental football for the team. The good thing about this dream is when you look at the 13th position, where our team is today, and the teams above us, you'll discover that if you win two games, and the teams above lose two, you can swap positions and aim further higher.
Amokachi Photo: Damilare Okunola
However, one has to be wary of relegation battle, when you lose two games and then another, you can be sure that you are staring relegation in the face. They have bought in a few players to bolster the squad, which is a good thing for us. So, we can start seeing what the team will look like.
We have seen in the past, how you brought exciting football to Nasarawa United as the coach. Are you looking at doing the same at Ifeanyi Ubah FC?
Well, 'tiki-taka' is my football philosophy, and everyone who knows me, knows that it is the way I like the players to play. I have a Dutch philosophy and as an instructor with the KNVB, the Dutch football federation. And anyone who knows Dutch football will also know that we play the Barcelona kind of football. And like I always say, if you get them on the field twice a day, get them to play with you thrice a day, they will eventually get to know what you want and adhere strictly to it.
Supporters of Ifeanyi Ubah FC in a frenzy mood as Amokachi was being unveiled at the Rojenny International Stadium, Oba, Anambra state on Sunday, August 9, 2015. Photo: Damilare Okunola
What is your take on Nigerian football generally?
Nigerian football is on the rise, no doubt about that. Days are gone when you are scared that results will not go your way, even if you do well. I remember coming here with Nasarawa United in 2006 and during the game, the ball eas shot in from the back of the net and they said it was a goal (general laughter). That's how bad things were then.
When you go away from home, you are certain that you are dropping points, but in the last three seasons, especially this season, even Ifeanyi Ubah has lost two matches at home. This is not just about us, a lot of other teams have dropped points at home, that shows you that the league is really developing. I think kudos should be given to those who are doing a very good job.
LMC (League Management Company) are doing a very good job, the referees' association are also doing a very good job and we have to keep encouraging them so that they can get even better.
Was your Super Eagles exit a blessing in disguise, considering that you got this job not quite long afterwards?
I am a strong believer in God and time. And it has already been written even before I was born, that I would be standing with you as the Technical Adviser of Ifeanyi Ubah FC. that is just the way life works and there are absolutely no regrets, whatsoever.
Any regrets leaving the Super Eagles' job?
The Super Eagles' job is like a merry-go-round thing and as we always say, this job is about hiring and firing. I believe that one day, I will be sitting on the bench of the Super Eagles as the head coach, and not as the assistant coach and that time will come to pass.
Amokachi unveiled as the new coach of Ifeanyi Ubah alongside John Obuh, the new Technical Adviser and Ike Shorunmu, goalkeeper's trainer
What do you make of Sunday Oliseh's appointment as the coach of the national side?
For me, there's nothing wrong with it. I see it as a fresh challenge for us. The good thing for him is that we already have three points in the kitty and he is playing Tanzania in the next game. And as a Nigerian, we just hope and pray that the results come in as planned because we want to get to the next level.
Were you disappointed that we could not qualify for the last Africa Cup of Nations?
To be honest with you, I was very disappointed and I would not like an ex-international like me failing with the team again because we deserve to be there this time around.
Nigerian players are not playing for the very best clubsides in Europe, do you think this is good for our development?
I think it has to do with these generation of players. I think this will soon pass and others who are coming afterwards can do justice to those wishes. (Odion) Ighalo is one player who has been making us proud. He came on from the bench and scored a goal for his team. That shows you that we are almost there and we shall surely get there by God's grace.
Recall that Amokachi was unveiled as the team's new technical adviser at the Rojenny International Stadium, Oba, Anambra state on Sunday, August 9 , 2015.
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