Back in the midst! Kadiri Kawawa Ikhana - oguncitynews


Monday 15 May 2023

Back in the midst! Kadiri Kawawa Ikhana

By Yusuf Olatunji 

Arguably the best Club football Coach Nigeria has ever produced,Kadiri Ikhana towers above his peers as per honours garnered both as a player and as a coach of the round leather game.He flourished where others fluttered 

Though the road was rough and tough at the beginning,but the going became so good at a time,that heavens were at a standstill for his praise-all he touched then became gold.And then came a time to go into oblivion-as all mortals would eventually be-or so it seemed 

Feelers have it that former African Coach of the Year,Kadiri Ikhana is back at football,but neither as a player nor a Coach but a technical Consultant.Ikhana,as exclusively gathered,is hired to see to the permanent revival of a once darling of the ferocious Lagos football fans

The team was one of the best privately owned outfits that made the Nigerian League so thick in the late eighties through early nineties,but like its contemporaries went down the drains just like the League itself

Much later-some years back,the Club was revived by one of the Progenitors of the original founder,now to test waters in the Nigeria National League,but then again the load became so heavy that the owners had to retreat,perhaps in order to become more strategic and prudent in their dealings

Now they are back again,but not as of old,but putting the running of the club in the hands of one who has walked the road to earn the proverbial sobriquet of "tested and trusted"

When contacted to confirm the development,Coach Ikhana refused to let the cat out of the back,rather he insisted on keeping the "secret" under rap until all the doted lines are signed

Going down memory lane,Kadiri Kawawa Ikhana(MON)  a native of Atteh Edo State, was born some seven decades ago in Ilorin the Capital of Kwara State.He played club football with Bendel Insurance winning the League in 1979 and the FA(Challenge) Cup in 1978 and 1980. Also won the FA (Challenge) Cup with Abiola Super Babes of Abeokuta in 1985.

Ikhana represented Nigeria at international level,playing for them in FIFA World Cup qualifying matches and at the 1980 Summer Olympics Games.He won the 1980 African Cup of Nations with the likes of Segun Odegbami,Felix Owolabi and Adokie Amasiemaka

As a coach,Ikhana has tinkered with a lot of Nigerian Clubs,including Elkanemi Warriors,BCC Lions,Kwara United, Sunshine Stars,Sharks FC and Giwa FC.He managed Enyimba, winning the African Champions League in 2003.He was awarded CAF's Coach of the Year that same year.In 2004,he was manager of the Nigerian Men's Olympic team

He later managed Kano Pillars,before resigning in May 2008 citing corruption in the League.He had led Kano Pillars to their first ever league title a day earlier. He was appointed manager of the Nigerian women national team in April 2012,before resigning in November 2012

He was managing Nasarawa United in November 2013 when he decided to retire from the sport.He returned to Enyimba winning another league title,before moving to Shooting Stars in February 2016.He returned to Kano Pillars in November 2016,before quiting in April 2017.

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