The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has paid tribute to former Super Eagles coach Shuaibu Amodu who passed away in 2016, reports Afrofooty.
I take this opportunity to look back at the achievements of Amodu Shuaibu in the Nigeria's club football scene that helped propel him towards handling the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
A coach who broke many grounds, fans will go a long way to find a tactician whose achievements will match that of Amodu in Nigeria's indigenous football scene.
Amodu the Pacesetter
A former footballer himself (striker with Niger Tonadoes), Amodu’s coaching career took off to a blistering start when, under his tutelage, the BCC Lions of Gboko won the FA Cup in 1989 with a 1-0 victory over favourites, Iwuanyanwu Nationale of Owerri.
This was significant as it marked the first time in 36 years that a northern team would win that trophy.
In 1990, the suit wearing fresh faced gaffer would lead the Lions to victory in the Africa Cup Winners Cup (Mandela Cup), the second-level continental competition, beating Club Africain of Tunisia 4-1 (3-0, 1-1) on aggregate in the final.
This marked another milestone as Nigerian clubs had failed to win the trophy in 13 years before then.
The then-23 year old (clearly sounding himself out as the newest coaching-kid on the Nigerian block) led BCC Lions to their consecutive final the following year, almost successfully defending the trophy. But they lost gallantly 5-4 (3-2, 1-3) on aggregate to Power Dynamos of Zambia.
The loss nonetheless, the Nigerian football family had by now started to sit up and take notice of this man who would twice qualify his country for the World Cup and sadly twice be denied the fruits of his labour by being excluded from both world cup parties by powerful stakeholders.
By 1995, Amodu Shuaibu had won the Nigerian FA Cup a record 4 times (in 1989, 1992, 1993 and 1994) becoming the most decorated coach in the history of the competition .
In leading El-Kanemi Warriors to victory in 1992, he set another record: the Maiduguri club became the first to win FA Cup back-to-back since Rangers did it in 1975 (Rangers won in 1974, 1975 and 1976).
Amodu also won the League and Cup double in 1994 (with BCC, on his return) and won the Super Cup in 1989, 1993 and 1994 – another astonishing achievement.
This is a tribute from me to this national icon: Amodu Shuibu (1958 – 2006), gone but never forgotten.