It is no longer news Adewunmi Aderemi’s contract at Kwara Falcons was terminated on Wednesday by the club management due to his national team engagements. The D’Tigers assistant coach informed www.aclsports.com the decision was taken without his knowledge.
It’s really not a surprise to him because it’s not the first time Aderemi has been relieved of his club’s duties. In 2015, the former First Bank coach was sacked by First Bank few days to the team departure for the Zone-3 qualifiers without a word from the management. As the slogan goes, a coaching job is about hiring and firing.
ACLSports.com’s Chief Sports Writer, had a chat with Aderemi on the bridge in communication, his time at Kwara Falcons and his potential destination.
The former Dolphins gaffer said he had complaints from the club whenever he was to leave the club for national team assignment.
“They were not always happy when I am not around because anytime I was away they asked what we were going to do and I tell them I have a capable assistant and the times I have been away he does a good job. In 2016, when I was with the female national team at the Olympic qualifying tournament, he was in charge. He won all his group games and lost to Rivers Hoopers in the third place game. Last year, he also took them to the final 8 and also lost third place game to Hoops & Read. I told the management it could have happened if I was around or even worse. Last season turned out that way because some of the players who were my assistant’s school mates and of the same age, refused to listen to him. But it is something we can easily correct if I was still there and it won’t have repeated itself this coming season,” he said
Kwara Falcons club looked unsatisfied with the assistant coach and preferred having the head coach around. Usually, national team assignment supercedes the club leaving them with no choice but to allow him go.
“They told me to get another assistant so when I am not around he will know what to do and I told them I have one already that has been working with me for 3 years so why should I look for another. He should be able to do whatever I am doing. I am not annoyed, but happy with the decision and open to anyone who wants my services,” Aderemi revealed
In a bid to move on from Aderemi and with his contract expiring on December 31, 2017, his fate was decided when the management of Kwara Falcons conducted interview for candidates who applied for the coaching job.
“It was not a surprise to me because they invited coaches for interview early December 2017. I knew something was going wrong and my contract was coming to an end on December 31. So if they wanted me back they would have been discussing with me since December on plans for the upcoming season. Nobody said anything since I returned from Tunisia in September, so I had that feeling something like this would happen. What bothers me is keeping the players together and not the decision taken by the management.”
“The coaches interviewed were invited to come and replace me and not coming as assistant. I know all of them and they aren’t coaches that can work with me or I working with them because coaches have different philosophies,” said Aderemi
The former First Bank coach took over the helm of affairs in 2015 when he was persuaded to save the team from relegation. Aderemi believes 2018 could have been a breakthrough year for Falcons if he had stayed on to keep the players together.
“After going through a rebuilding process, I felt this year would have been the year Falcons will win the league or come second if they had kept the team together but i doubt if that will happen. With just few additions, they would have been one of the best teams in the country. I was brought in to save the team from relegation in 2015 and I did it for free since it’s my home, i have played there when I was young. Though I was with the female team (First Bank) at that time Falcons called, I could find my way around it. I took them to a fourth place finish in two consecutive seasons and defeated top sides like Lagos Islanders and Union Bank in the 2015 Conference six though we finished sixth but I won the Conference 6 in two consecutive seasons 2016 and 2017.”
Aderemi said he hopes to get a coaching job soon most preferably a female team
“I have to get another job with a club side apart from my national team assignment so I can keep myself busy. I am open to anyone who wants my service and ready to move to anywhere. Despite my father figure relationship with my players, I will not influence any of them to follow me. If I eventually get a club and they are interested in joining me, then I’ll pick them”
“I am open to jobs in any of the Conferences most preferably, Atlantic Conference because I’ll miss playing against Rivers Hoopers and I feel at home whenever I go to Port Harcourt and Delta to play a game. I won’t also mind going back to the female league it’s where I love the most. I understand them better, it’s easy to coach them, they learn fast but it’s more interesting teaching the male players and seeing those dunks I don’t get to see in the female game, ” Aderemi concluded.
The former Dolphins gaffer who has been coaching since 1998, have won the FIBA Africa Champions Cup for Women twice 2003 and 2009, finishing 2nd four times and 3rd six times for First Bank Basketball Club before switching to the male team.