NIGERIA: No more Journeyman, vows Eguavoen
BY WALE AJAYI.
Former Super Eagles’ player and later coach, Austin Eguavoen who was on Tuesday unveiled as new manager of relegation threatened Sunshine Stars, has vowed to remain on the job rather than quit as he did before to other Nigerian clubs.
He was unveiled along with former national team goalkeeper who also had been goalkeeper trainer, Ike Shorunmu. Both were part of a four-man technical crew put together to save the Akure club. They are not just to steer the club out of relegation waters, the management wants the quartet put Sunshine Stars among genuine contenders for the Federation Cup, Nigeria’s national tournament and the oldest competition in the country.
Eguavoen as new technical adviser of the club is one N1 million monthly package, the same salary of his immediate predecessor, Kayode Olujohungbe.
Chairman of the three-man Interim committee set up recently by Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, to rescue the sinking club, Gbenga Elegbeleye expressed confidence in the abilities of both Eguavoen and Shorunmu, to improve the fortunes of the club.
“We have a mandate to do what is best for this club. Our committee is worried with the dwindling fortune of a club we all call the pride of Ondo state.
“His Excellency, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, in setting up this committee, charged us, to turn around many things that have gone wrong in the last few years. We are to ensure that sunshine stars does not go on relegation and the only way we can achieve that is by getting two of the best coaches currently, in the job, to come and help us make this dream a reality.
“After finishing second to Atletico Madrid at the LA LIGA future champions competition in South Africa last month, a few PSL clubs wanted Eguavoen to take up a coaching job in the South African premier soccer league but he turned them down because of the relationship we have built over the years.
“We are confident therefore that with his wealth of experience, he can take Sunshine stars out of the relegation waters”, Elegbeleye, a former Director General at the now scrapped National Sports Commission remarked.
Eguavoen, a former Enyimba, COD and Gombe United coach, will take charge of the Sunshine Stars till the end of the current football season with the option of an extension and improved deal, based on performance.
“I am a coach who believes in my ability. I would not have accepted this job if I was not sure that I have what it takes to succeed on it.
“I walked out of COD and Gombe United but I want to make a promise here today, that I will not walk out of Sunshine Stars,
“ I want to implore everyone of you, the players, the fans and the management to give my technical crew your maximum support because that is the only way we can make any headway in the long run Eguavoen said”
Sunshine stars currently sits on eighteenth spot in the twenty teams log and must win at least ten of their last nineteen premier league matches to stand any chance of surviving the drop.