Can John Obuh Swing the Magic Wand for Akwa United?

By Ekemini Simon


In what may appear as a signal towards readiness for the 2019/20 NPFL season, top Nigeria Professional Football League side and two-time Aiteo cup winners, Akwa United football club have officially presented to the public her new technical adviser and head coach, John Obuh and his assistant Duke Udi to bring their skills and experience to bear towards improving the playing standard of the club.
With Obuh handed the technical role to tinker the club in a year contract signed , the management of the Akwa United sets the NPFL title as target for the new coaches. “ We have won Aiteo cup severally, the Club now wants the League trophy”, the Club’s Chairman, Paul Bassey notes during the official unveiling of the Coaches. But are the coaches ready to pursue the realization of that set target? Are they even delighted to work with the Promise Keepers?
The Head Coach notes: ‘I am immensely proud to arrive Akwa United as head coach. Everyone knows my love for this club. I have been hunting to coach this club for almost six years now. Many Clubs I have served with often enquire if I have committed a deal with Akwa United but I will reply no.
I have always eyed coaching this great club and I am happy that now it has come to pass.”
Obuh says that he understands fully the demands of Akwa United thus, his focus is on the job in hand and preparing for the season which commences on November 3, 2019.
Interestingly, the new technical adviser of the Uyo based side assures that he has set a target of winning the much coveted NPFL title for the club but wishes to go beyond and grab the Aiteo cup since it has been a little while he won it as a coach. Can he really achieve such a big target within a season?
Obuh replies “ I am here to work hard, bring further success to the club and I cannot wait to get started.”
He offers insight to the fact that he has been equipped with adequate insight about what is needed to improve the club especially through inputs from past coaches.
“ Coach Everton worked under me in Ifeanyi Ubah. Maikaba worked under me in Kano Pillars for almost two seasons. So I have discussed with them about the club. Moreover, I have a very strong person within me. The little time I am with a team, the team will always be a very good team”, Obuh points out. Yet what will really make him outstanding from other Coaches? The new technical adviser gives a glimpse into his philosophy of play. He says he appreciates a good level of stamina even as he also enjoys the Tiki-taka pattern of football which the promise keepers are known for.
Nevertheless, it is one thing to have the zeal and idea of what to do, but experience and antecedence gives added confidence that one is fully equipped to execute the job. What is John Obuh’s antecedence in football?
John Obuh who is moving from Kwara United after helping the team gain promotion from the NNL has featured for many top clubs including Abiola Babes, Udoji United, Julius Berger, Sharks FC, Enugu Rangers and Enyimba as a player. Obuh who hails from Abia State started his coaching career in 1994/1995 season as a coach-player with Enyimba of Aba. He has also worked with the National Under-17 team- the Golden Eaglets and the National Under-20 team- the Flying Eagles between 2008-2013.
Coach Obuh, who won Silver Medal at the 2009 Under-17 FIFA World cup has CAF B coaching license, English FA International coaching license, and German Football A license.
Interestingly, the 59 years old will not be working alone. Also joining Akwa United’s technical crew for the new season is former Super Eagles, Grasshopper of Switzerland and Akwa United defender Duke Udi as the Deputy Head Coach.
Udi has previously worked as a coach with Giwa FC, Enugu Rangers, Sunshine stars amongst others. He has agreed a one year deal with the Promise Keepers.
To help execute his ideas, in the playing department of Akwa United, the club has acquired 15 new experienced players for the up coming season comprising three goalkeepers, four defenders, four midfielders and four forwards players. The players include; Goalkeepers:Itodo Akor (El-Kanemi), Bassey Akpan (Sunshine Stars), Adewale Adeyinka (Gombe Utd). Defenders are Ekemini Ukoebe (Lori FC), Sampson Gbadebo (Rivers Utd), Ali Chiwendu (Yobe Stars) David Philip (Go Round).
Those signed to marshal the Midfield are Samuel Mathias (Lobi Stars), Dare Ojo (Lobi Stars), Morice Chukwu (Go Round), Ifeanyi Ifeanyi (ES Setif).
Forwards are Christian Ekong (Delta Foece), Michael Ohanu (MFM), Ubong Friday (Lori FC) and Akarandut Orok.
The 15 players are not the only ones to execute the dreams of the club throughout the season. The Promise Keepers have registered a total of 35 players for the 2019/2020 football league season scheduled to kick-start on November 3, 2019.
But does the Club management really believe that Coach Obuh with his coaching crew can swing the magic wand to bring home the much lust after league trophy?
The Club Chairman answers in the positive. He notes that it is the belief that has made the club gun for no other coach than John Obuh to handle the club as head coach.
He says “ It gives us great pleasure to welcome John Obuh to this great club as head coach. Obuh possesses fantastic knowledge and understanding of the NPFL and his experience is very impressive.”
Bassey promises that the club will do everything they can to ensure he has all the support required to be a huge success in the club.
While noting that the club cannot attain her goals without God on their side and the support from fans, the club Chairman summits “ We have gone for the best legs and coaches in the league. Put us in your prayers and be there to support us. With God on our side, the league trophy is coming to Akwa Ibom State.”

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