We take a look at five Nigerian coaches who caught the eye in 2017.
There is an apparent dearth of Nigerian coaches in the top flight with opportunities outside the Nigerian leagues hard to come for them.
Amidst this scarcity, one man was able to be distinctive in Europe and he is number one on the list.
The other names on the list are all from the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) where they managed to still be exceptional.
We take a look at five of these coaches.
1. Sunday Oliseh (Fortuna Sittard)
Out of favour with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Nigerian press, Super Eagles players and thousands of Nigerian footballer observers, Sunday Oliseh abruptly quit his post as coach of the senior national team, his first major job in his budding managerial career.
Not much was expected of his career after his turbulent time with the Super Eagles but be bounced back when he was appointed coach of Fortuna Sittard in the Eerste Divisie (Dutch second division).
Oliseh had a huge task of saving Fortuna Sittard who were on the verge of relegation from Dutch second division.
He managed to help them retain their Dutch second division status 2017 but it was at the latter part of 2017 that Oliseh’s has really worked wonders for Fortuna Sittard.
As at the time of this report, Fortuna Sittard sit in the second position on the Dutch second division table.
In 17 games this season, Oliseh’s men have won 11 games, losing four and drawing two.
This season, Oliseh led Fortuna to a club record eight consecutive home victory and also recorded his highest away win as a coach with a 6-0 victory against Telstar in September.
He was also named the Best Coach in the first half of the Eerste Divisie.
2. Kennedy Boboye (Plateau United)
After an average season, Plateau United appointed coach Kennedy Boboye ahead of the 2016/2017 Nigeria Professional Football (NPFL) season.
Boboye had shown glimpses of what he can deliver at Abia Warriors, leading them to a record 10-match unbeaten run in the 2015/2016 season.
With Plateau United, Boboye had a run of seven-match unbeaten run in the lead up to the Jos-based side winning the 2017 NPFL title.
The Boboye side achieved this while playing some of the best football in the league, solid at the back with an exciting and fluid attack.
Plateau United finished the season with 66 points-19 wins, nine draws, 10 losses; scored 49 goals and conceded 25.
3. Abdu Maikaba (Akwa United)
Some quarters are disappointed with Abdu Maikaba for not winning or at least mounting an intense title challenge with Akwa United in 2017.
He signed a host of top players ahead of the season but amidst huge expectations, a bad start ensured Akwa United could only finish the season fourth on the NPFL table.
Despite his failure to win the league, Maikaba’s Akwa United were one of the best teams to watch in the league.
Akwa United’s brand of football caught the eye and they had a trophy to show for it too, winning the 2017 Federation Cup title to qualify for the CAF Confederation Cup.
4. Fidelis Ilechukwu (MFM FC)
Fidelis Ilechukwu’s MFM FC were only able to retain their NPFL status on the last day of the 2015/2016 season.
With little changes to the team, Ikechukwu who is the youngest manager in the NPFL masterminded a brilliant season where only an excellent Plateau United could stop them from winning the league.
MFM FC were brilliant all through the season playing a brand of exciting football that got everyone talking.
5. Gbenga Ogunbote
Despite failing to win a trophy in 2016, Gbenga Ogunbote was still one of the best Nigerian coaches of 2017.
His Enyimba side recovered from a bad start to finish third on the NPFL table to snag a CAF Confederation Cup slot.