New head coach of Nigeria Nationwide League One (NLO) side SKE Academy Tunde Sanni has told www.aclsports.com that he hopes to relaunch his coaching career with his move to the club he describes as “better organised than most Premier League clubs”.
Sanni, a well travelled coach who was made famous by his works with Ilorin based sides Kwara United and ABS FC was announced as coach of the Port Harcourt based SKE Academy on January 27.
He informed ACLSPORTS Chief Football Writer Fisayo Dairo during a visit to the club’s training ground on Thursday that some of his reasons for taking charge of the club include the opportunity to relaunch himself and also work with young players at such organised environment.
“It is just one of those things. At times, it is life. At times, it is challenges. But i just want to take this challenge as an opportunity to relaunch myself,” said Sanni to www.aclsports.com
“Most especially, I have never been to the grassroot like this. Immediately I ended my (playing) career, I started at the top level with Kwara United so it did not give me room (to work at the grassroot),” he continued.
“I want to use this opportunity to be closer to youth players so that I will be able to see their mentality and how to compare being given opportunity to coach these national under aged teams.
“I believe it’s a very big opportunity for me and I just want to take the opportunity to see how tough it is from grassroot and how easy it is at the Premier League and compare the two.”
SKE Academy of Port Harcourt hit the headlines last year for positive reasons on two different occasions. First, they were within two minutes of eliminating Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) side Rivers United at the semi-final of the State FA Cup before some unruly fans disrupted the game.
In spite of the gulf in financial incentives at the NPFL where Sanni was used to and a third division side like SKE, he has been very impressed with the level of the club’s organisation.
“I don’t see much difference between the top sides and these lowly rated clubs. This SKE are better organised,” Sanni candidly opined.
“In terms of organisation, I can say they are better off than most of these Premier League clubs because they put everything in place. They know what it takes to have a professional side.
“Some teams, you will have to make requests for everything: cones, bibs, soccer balls but here, everything is provided. It might be at their own level but you can see they know what it takes to have a club and they are providing an enabling environment which leaves me with no choice than to ensure I take it from there, develop some of their players before I leave this club.”
More from the training ground pic.twitter.com/fc0iOZCDlN
— SKE FC PHC (@skefc14) February 28, 2019
Secondly, SKE Academy last October earned promotion to the NLO 1 last October following a nailbiting contest with Udala FC in Owerri which SKE won on penalties.
The team, under the tutelage of experienced coach Sanni have intensified their preparations and the coach who gave a report on how far they have gone believes his team will cope in the league.
“I believe we will cope. We’re still doing our recruitment because we still have one or two areas that need to be fortified most especially our pointman.
“This team have not gotten someone who would be putting the ball inside the net. That’s our major problem. So, we’re searching for a striker, any other position, we can cope for now. So we still have about one, two, three places to fortify before our league kicks off and we will keep fighting and not resting on our oars and training the current set hard,” submitted Coach Sanni.