Five ex-players of Elkanemi Warriors Football Club of Maiduguri made it in the list of national team coaches recently appointed and published for the various strata of our football in Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) programs.
Elkanemi Warriors formative years saw the team parading best players across the country with enhanced pay packages, cars and best camp facilities in Maiduguri. The then mentor of the team Col. Abdulmumini Aminu in 1986/7 felt the performance of his team should be second to none thus making him to sign all “the who is who” in Nigerian football except few ones that feared coming down north for football carrier.
With popular players like Okechukwu Anietor, Eta Egbe, Authur Egbunam Paul Yusuf, Gabriel Okonkwo Hussaini Suleman, Nduka Ugbade, Manu Garba, Hassan Abdullahi Celestine Nzeakwe, Samson Siasia, Ahmed Ibrahim, Ajiya Sadiq and a host of other stars I cannot recall. The warriors thrashed their opponents to make unprecedented feat that catapulted the team in its first year to gain promotion into division 3 on top of the league table.
By 1988 more players like Kingsley Paul, Sunday Egboibe, Humpry Edebor, Friday Elaho Ndubuisi Okeseimi, Mike Odu, Ishola Babatunde, Haruna Garba, Danjuma Isandu etc added bite to the team to become stronger.
By 1989 to 90 more players joined the raining club. Lami Isa, Oladunni Oyekale, Dattijo Aliyu, Mohammed Musa, Aminu Abdu, Yahaya Gaku, Salisu Yusuf, Kabiru Baleria, Bature Sale, made the warriors a crack side with precision to gain promotion to the Proleague division two and a season after got promoted to elite division. In 1991 and 1992 the Warriors won the FA Cup for Borno state and represented Nigeria at continental level.
There is a link in the story of Elkanemi Warriors with the above star players, in the same manner one can see a links with top Nigerian coaches like Udumeze, Ahmadu shuaibu,sabastine Brodricks, Kadiri Ikana, Okey Imodi, James Peters, Zakari Baraje,Kelechi Imeteole, Kafaru Alabi and Roberto diaz who handled Elkanemi. Therefore it is not out of point to say these great coaches produced or trained fine footballers some of whom today graduated into coaching profession after hanging their boots.
Coincidence or not the result of forming an ideal football club that met all standards by the founder of Elkanemi Warriors is 34 years later manifesting. Col. Aminu once told us as SWAN members “People are accusing me of spending too much of state funds on football, which I considered an investment on our youth. I know one day posterity will vindicate me”. Here we are today, 5 of the appointed coaches into our various National teams are from Elkanemi supporting the faulted single handed investment of Col. Aminu for being the best investment of that time. Samson Siasia, late Kabiru Baleria and Salisu Yusuf are all part of that investment as far as I am concerned.
The five coaches who played for Elkanemi Warriors at different times that were appointed by the NFF Technical Committee are Patric Bassey National U-15 Mohammed kalli Kachalla National U-15, Bamai Bukar National U-13,Oladunni Oyekale, National U-20,Hassan Abdullahi National U-17.
Two out of the 5 coaches are indigenes of Borno state who played for Elkanemi from their teenage before hanging their boots to join the coaching profession. The two sons of Borno, Mohammed and Bamai made me proud in Kaduna with their coaching abilities that qualified Borno to Lagos finals of the NPFL Promise tournament among the 20 teams of the apex league in the country.
I want to conclude this write up by reminding our leaders that no amount of money spent on football or sports generally is too much. It is an investment in our youth who will be the leaders of tomorrow. Just look at how Col. Aminu was seen then to have spent Borno money on Football which was challenged by many people as waste of resources and what obtains today.
U20 BOYS: Isah Ladan Bosso (Head Coach); Oladuni Oyekale (Assistant Coach); Jolomi Atune Alli (Assistant Coach); Samaila Marwa Keshi (Assistant Coach/Scout); Suleiman Shuaibu Akanmu (Goalkeeper Coach)
U17 BOYS: Fatai Amoo (Head Coach); Ahmed Lawal Dankoli (Assistant Coach); Nnamdi Onuigbo (Assistant Coach); Hassan Abdallah (Assistant Coach/Scout); Danlami Kwasau (Goalkeeper Coach).
U20 GIRLS: Christopher Danjuma (Head Coach); Moses Aduku (Assistant Coach); Bilkisu Tijani (Assistant Coach); Charity Nwere Nnedinma (Assistant Coach/Scout); Audu Yahaya (Goalkeeper Coach).
U17 GIRLS: Bankole Olowookere (Head Coach); Queen Okpa (Assistant Coach); Adanna Nwaneri (Assistant Coach); Moroof Nojimu (Assistant Coach/Scout); Mohammed Abubakar Ndanusa (Goalkeeper Coach).
U15 BOYS: Omoniyi Haruna Ilerika Usman (Head Coach); Bassey Patrick (Assistant Coach); Olubunmi Haruna (Assistant Coach); Mohammed Kalli Kachalla (Assistant Coach/Scout); Baruwa Olatunji (Goalkeeper Coach).
U13 BOYS: Abdullahi Tyabo Umar (Head Coach); Salisu Ibrahim (Assistant Coach); Bamai Bukar (Assistant Coach); Mohammed Kwairanga (Assistant Coach); Ifeanyi Uba (Assistant Coach/Scout); Abubakar Abdullahi (Goalkeeper Coach)