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NPFL coaching merry-go-round begins

26 October 2016, 12:01

Lagos - The Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) is in its off-season and a few big names in coaching are out of contract or out of jobs following the end of a campaign in which Enugu Rangers claimed a long-awaited seventh title.

At the moment, two of the top-three teams do have head coaches in place while big guns like Enyimba and Kano Pillars, after a disappointing campaign, are looking to bring in new managers.

Supersport.com now looks at the revolving doors of coaching in the NPFL, and who heads where ahead of the 2016/17 now speculated to begin in either December or January.

KENNEDY BOBOYE

He is one of the young and bright coaches in the country. In August, he surprisingly quit his post as head coach at Abia Warriors following a 0-0 draw at home against Akwa United and cited "personal reasons" for his decision. Boboye, supersport.com has been informed, is being considered for the vacant role at Plateau United, but no deal has been reached yet with him.

Possible destination: Plateau United

ABDU MAIKABA

After guiding Wikki Tourists to a top-three finish last season in the NPFL, Maikaba pulled the plug on the Bauchi despite knowing he has the chance of leading the team to the Caf Confederation Cup next year. Outgoing Federation Cup champions, Akwa United, Enyimba and Kano Pillars have been reported to be the clubs interested in the former Mathematics teacher.

However, Maikaba appear to have agreed in principle to join Akwa United on a two-year deal that will see him earn around N2.5 million per month.

Possible destination: Akwa United

Also read: Enyimba unveil Aigbogun

IMAMA AMAPAKABO

The NPFL 2015/16 title-winning coach is currently out of contract with Enugu Rangers and supersport.com understands that there have been preliminary talks with his employers, who have made it clear to him that they intend to keep him as their head coach for next season when they will compete in three fronts - the NPFL, Caf Champions and Federation Cup.

In spite of the verbal agreement, Amapakabo has continued to be linked with other clubs including Akwa United, Kano Pillars, Enyimba and surprisingly, South African outfit, Chippa United. It is understood that those at the top of hierarchy at Akwa United and Enyimba are not looking in his ways owing to different reasons including personal. Rangers are keen to keep Amapakabo and should have him a new deal in November or December that will see him earn triple of his current wages plus a brand new official car to go with it.

Possible destination: Enugu Rangers

MOHAMMED BABA GANARU

It was an uneventful season for Baba Ganaru at Kano Pillars as guided them to a disappointing seventh place finish and 11 points behind champions, Rangers. That performance meant that he quit his position as head coach immediately after the season. He has been linked with two new promoted teams, Gombe United and Katsina United while there are words from Kano saying he might be considered to return as Pillars head coach.

Baba Ganaru is now in talks with three NPFL sides, Abia Warriors, Gombe United and Wikki Tourists.

Possible destination: Wikki Tourists

GBENGA OGUNBOTE

If there is a man who fits the bill at Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC), it is Ogunbote. He has been linked with various clubs including Akwa United, Enyimba, Kano Pillars and Plateau United. But it looks like the man who some now call 'The Miracle Worker' would always make the Ibadan club his first option, and that is only if they meet his wage demands. The Peoples Elephant are also lurking and ready to pounce.

Possible destination: 3SC, Enyimba

FIDELIS ILECHUKWU

It did come as a surprise that one of the youngest coaches in the country, Ilechukwu, immediately called it quits with MFM FC in a very controversial circumstance after the club escaped the drop on the final day. Supersport.com learned that Ilechukwu angrily left citing interference in his job.

Ilechukwu did claim he had offers from other clubs but surely he will remain in charge as MFM FC head coach when the new season starts.

Possible destination: MFM FC

ZACHARY BARAJE

The departure of Baraje from Plateau United at the end of the season came as a surprise to many faithful of the club after he helped them beat the drop even before their final game of the campaign. He is one of the most experienced trainers in the country and is not short on offers. Baraje has already been linked with the vacant roles at Kano Pillars and Wikki Tourists. There is the outside chance of taking up the job at Katsina United as well.

Possible destination: Kano Pillars, Katsina United, Wikki

SOLOMON OGBEIDE

The emergence of Prince Dapo Ajibade as chairman of the Ondo State Football Agency (ODSFA) which oversees Sunshine Stars meant that Solomon Ogbeide will no longer continue as head coach at the club. The agency has opted for a man within the system apparently to cut cost. So Kayode Olujohungbe is now head coach while Ogbeide looks for job elsewhere.

There are no known offers on ground for Ogbeide and his destination is unknown which might change in the coming days once there are moves by other coaches.

Possible destination: Unknown

PAUL AIGBOGUN

Aigbogun's campaign with Enyimba looked to be on the up when he guided them into the group stage of the Caf Champions League but it all came crashing down with lethargic performance in the Cup semis against Nasarawa United in Ibadan. Enyimba are already looking for a new coach while Aigbogun has been linked with Akwa United though the Uyo club never contacted him at any point.

At present, there are no offers for Aigbogun who is in the United Kingdom spending the holidays with his family.

Possible destination: Unknown

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- News24

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