Former Nigerian international Finidi George said he would continue to run for Super Eagles national coaching positions despite being twice overlooked. The 49-year-old retired in 2004 after a 15-year career that included winning the 1994 CAF Africa Cup of Nations, three championship titles and the 1995 European Champions League with Ajax of Amsterdam.
After completing his coaching course at Dutch Minnows PEC Zwolle, Finidi George sought an opportunity to coach a youth team in Nigeria, failing twice. He was trying to secure the position of National U17 coach. « I’m very disappointed, but I understand the Nigerian system pretty well, » said George.
« It’s a matter of patience. It’s a matter of patience, so I’m open and I’ll continue to improve in the hopes of getting the chance to coach one of the country’s youth teams. When you have the right qualifications, attitude and professionalism, you can only aim for the best and it may even be a chance with the senior team, the Super Eagles, we’ll see, » he said.
His first rejection came in 2018 when Manu Garba was selected to coach Nigeria’s U-17 side and then last year George Finidi reapplied for the position. This time, another former international coach and local veteran, Fatai Amoo, was selected by the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF). « I was disappointed to be ignored, but I was only consoled by the fact that in the end, it is Nigeria, » he added.
« I understand the challenges, I will just wait for the time to come and the opportunity will come again. As I continue to look at other options, I am open and I will not close the doors to Nigeria. I just hope that one day this decision will be made and I will be called upon to manage one of the teams. I can only continue to hope, » the former Ajax star from Amsterdam hopes.
Finidi George was part of the « golden generation » of Nigerian soccer stars, alongside Rachid Yekini, Austin Jay-Jay Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu, Sunday Oliseh and Daniel Amokachi. He has more than 60 selections under the colors of Nigeria and participated in the 1994 and 1998 World Cups. He also represented his country in four tournaments of the African Cup of Nations, winning in 1994, finishing second in 2000 and third in 1992 and 2002.