Former Nigeria international Finidi George has been appointed as Enyimba new head coach on a two-year contract.
The 50-year-old — who played for the defunct Iwuanyanwu National, Sharks, Real Betis, RCD Mallorca and Ipswich Town in a career that spanned 15 years — takes over from Fatai Osho, who left the club earlier this month after his contract came to an end.
“Enyimba Football Club has appointed Finidi George as its new head coach,” the two-time CAF Champions League winners announced on their website.
George, who was capped 62 times by Nigeria, began negotiating with the Aba club last month but owning to a disagreement over who would serve as the former Ajax star’s assistant, a deal could not be reached by the two parties.
Enyimba reportedly wanted to pick an assistant for George, but the former UEFA Champions League winner insisted on bringing his own man.
However, Enyimba went ahead to appoint former Dakkada gaffer Caleb Esu to serve as the club’s No. 2 and apparently, George — who represented Nigeria at the 1994 and 1998 World Cups — was convinced to accept the club’s choice.
The appointment is George’s first at senior level, and it remains to be seen how he’ll fare.
His only previous coaching role came in 2013, when he managed the youth team of his erstwhile Spanish club, Real Betis.
George’s first assignment will be to lead the Aba side against Senegalese side Diambars FC in the CAF Confederation Cup second preliminary round in October.
Speaking to the club’s media after signing the contract, George said: “I have to say it’s a great opportunity for the club to have this confidence in me. I want to thank the chairman, the members of the board, and the supporters for even thinking about me. On my own part, I will be here to just work and do the job. It’s never going to be easy but I’m here to work and make the team win.”
Enyimba Chairman Felix Anyansi Agwu believes George’s appointment would usher in a new era of success at the Enyimba Stadium.
“I believe that the time has come for us as a club to open up a new chapter, a chapter that will showcase the many hardwork that has been going on behind the scene and usher in lots of success. For us to have engaged a coach like Finidi George who is coming from Europe is a clear statement of intent about our aspirations,” said Anyansi-Agu.
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