WITH OR WITHOUT ME, ENYIMBA'LL MARCH ON - ANYANSI
Following the shaky start of the season by Nigeria Premier League defending champion, Enyimba International Football Club of Aba, which has resulted in many of its diehard fans worrying about what becomes of the club in the near future, the 'Aba Millionaire' club's Chairman, Chief Felix Anyansi-Agwu, has declared that the future is clearly cut out for success.
In a chat with Sunday Sunsports in his Aba office recently, the Item, Abia State-born football administrator stated with optimism that Enyimba would always remain a force to reckon with in the country's football and on the continent because his team of management has laboured so hard to put a structure in place, which means that even if he (Anyansi) leaves ceases to be Enyimba's manager today, the club would continue to wax strong and record more successes.
'There is no cause to entertain any fear on whether Enyimba's string of success would be sustained whether I remain the club's chairman or I ceases to be. I am optimistic about this because the management team of Enyimba has laboured to put in place a very solid structure on which any subsequent management could easily build upon and continue to record success for the two-time African champion.'
Anyansi attributed the secret of his success as chairman of the People's Elephant to the grace of God, dedication, focus and teamwork. And on the constant change of guard in the technical crew of the club, he said that Enyimba is being misunderstood in that regard because most of those coaches that left the Aba side after one season or two did so on their own accord.
He explained that most of the coaches that joined Enyimba at one point or the other come for different reasons. 'Some of them joined the club to build their curriculum vitae knowing very well what Enyimba stands for both in Nigerian and African football and once they achieved their aim, they opt for greener pastures elsewhere. Excerpts.
Sustaining Enyimba's success story
'I don't see any problem in sustaining the success story in Enyimba even if I leave the club today. A tree does not make a forest and no man is an island or has all the wisdom to himself. We at Enyimba have laboured so hard to build a solid structure and as I speak with you, what we have put in place will certainly keep Enyimba marching forward with or without me at the helm of affairs. Any person that comes in to handle Enyimba would definitely key in the structure. That is why I don't entertain any fear concerning the future of the club.
'There would have being problems if we have not built a structure at Enyimba. I am a fulfilled man today and I am grateful to all those that have had cause to work for Enyimba at one time or the other for helping in building and sustaining the solid structure I am talking about. Anybody coming to Enyimba, whether I am there or not can easily continue from where I stopped to wax strong because the format is already in place.
Secret of success as club chairman
'The success of a man is not always dependent on how hardworking he is. To be successful in life, one does not have to kill yourself with hard work neither does it mean that one would fold ones hands waiting for success to fall from the sky. For me, I strongly believe that success comes from God.
'When the grace of God is upon you, things come easy. But that does not mean that you sleeping. To attract success into whatever you are doing, you need to be committed, have a certain degree of experience and remain focused in what you are doing. More so, you must be a team player, who can carry people along towards achieving the set purposes.
'We at Enyimba have succeeded thus far because we have built a stable club where everybody knows exactly what to do at any point in time. This was made possible because we have a structure in place and once you join the club whether as a coach, player or a worker, all you needed to do is to commit yourself to the system and every other thing follows.
'With this, I can conveniently say that the successes we have been able to record were collective achieved by all that have in one way or the other worked for Enyimba and we are proud of what we have achieved so far.'
Rationale for hiring and firing coaches at Enyimba
'Hiring and firing of coaches is part of football. However, it is not always intentional, it all depend on results. Football is all about result and some of the coaches that came to Enyimba only joined the team to build their status.
'Some of them got what they wanted and moved on in life, most of them left the club on their own accord. But the unfortunate thing is that most times we were misunderstood as if we were the ones that fired those coaches. 'It is not just winning trophies that makes a coach to stay with a team, though it counts. We have a system on ground, which whoever that joins Enyimba keys into. That was why any coach that had worked with us was able to achieved results.
'Working with Enyimba calls for a lot of challenges because every newcomer, a coach for instance would want to beat the record of his predecessor, who probably had won a trophy or two before he left the club.
'That in another way has helped us because subjecting those coaches under serious challenges helped in bringing out the best in all the coaches that have worked with us, because while coming in, you would discover that the person you were to replace had just won either the CAF Champions League, the Super Cup, the FA Cup or something else and you are coming to replace somebody that left such a record.
So, you have to give yourself the challenge of making sure you bring at least a trophy to the club. So you can as well see constant changing of coaches as a system that has also helped us a lot in achieving much in football.'