Posted by Nelson Dafe, Benin | 24 November 2012 | 6,475 times
His name does not ring a bell, but the names of his products can be heard around the world. For Douglas Idahosa, a grassroots soccer coach with a knack for spotting and polishing talents, the joy is in seeing his players leave his football nursery to become big names in the round leather game. Some of the big names that have passed through his tutelage include Nigerian senior internationals Victor Moses and Elderson Echiejile.
“My dream is to be given the chance to handle any of the national teams in Nigeria,” says Idahosa in an interview with News Express. “It is something I am passionate about and, without sounding immodest, I can say that I am well equipped to succeed,” he adds.
Idahosa may not be making an empty boast, having achieved success for Nigeria in the past in the Under-13 category. In 2000 he led an Under-13 team from Abudu in Edo State to lift the maiden edition of the Dana Cup for under-13 teams held in Hjorring, Denmark. Nine years after, Idahosa in 2009 won the maiden edition of the Coca Cola-sponsored Copa Cup for grassroots teams in South Africa – becoming the first ever Nigerian coach to achieve that feat.
The youthful chief coach of Megap-BJ FC Benin City has a big reputation in the Edo State capital and Nigeria for the many number of players he has developed and turned over to the different national teams and European clubsides.
Victor Moses of Chelsea of England was a striker for Megap FC in the early 2000s where his latent skills were honed by Idahosa before he sojourned to Europe. Elderson Echiejile, the FC Braga of Portugal left back was also a regular for Megap before he switched to then Nigerian Premier League outfit, Insurance. Talking of the new generation of young stars, Golden Eaglets sensation Promise Success is presently playing under Idahosa in Megap FC.
Like a father anxious for the welfare of his children, Idahosa (seen in photo) is fiercely passionate about the progress of his ex-players even though they are not directly under his control.
“When I watch my ex-players play I am usually tensed because I want them to do well,” he tells News Express. “I am happy for the lads. They have always showed me that they have what it takes to do well for our country,” he adds.
How soon Nigeria’s football authorities will look in the direction of this proven spotter and developer of talents remains to be seen.
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