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Enyimba Coach, Yemi Olarewaju, reflects on 2023/2024 season tags as "Serial winners"

Posted : 28 June 2024

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Third-placed Enyimba International Coach Yemi Olarewaju has described himself as a 'serial winner' and has called for a family reunion after his hectic season before making any decisions about his role as the People's Elephant's next gaffer.

Yemi Olanrewaju replaced the erstwhile coach of the team, Finidi George, who departed for the Super Eagles job, allowing him to lead the People's Elephant to a third-place finish in the concluded 2023/2024 NPFL season.

The decent finish by the Aba Landlords has guaranteed the three-time African Champions a place in the 2024/2025 CAF second-tier interclub competition, the CAF Confederation Cup.

After a 2-0 home win against Plateau Utd in Aba on the final Match Day of the 2023/2024 NPFL season, Enyimba secured the Confederation Cup ticket at the expense of Shooting Stars Sports Club, 3SC, Ibadan, and Plateau United, a feat that secures a fifth Confederation Cup campaign for the Nigerian domestic top-flight nine-time winners.

Olanrewaju, however, said that he was satisfied with his team's third-best finish.

"If you look at my records everywhere I've worked, you'll understand that I'm a serial winner.

"I won the first trophy for Vandrezzar FC. At the National Team level, I won the WAFU U17 with the U17 Golden Eaglets. In my first season with Enyimba, we won the NPFL trophy.

"I'm a serial winner. I love to win. I don't settle for second place. But sometimes, when it doesn't happen, you have to move on," the young tactician, arguably the youngest head coach in the NPFL, said.

With the conclusion of the 2023/2024 season, the transfer window has opened.

While clubs jostle for players to bolster their squads ahead of the upcoming 2024/2025 season, coaches are also not left out as clubs also seek to strengthen their technical departments.

With Enyimba embarking on yet another continental voyage for a fifth Confederation Cup hunt, Olarewaju says he has yet to decide his Enyimba future despite the club always coming first in everything he does, as well as the verbal outburst by Chairman of the club, Nwankwo Kanu, to the effect that he (Kanu) 'doesn't want him (Olarewaju) to leave this place'.

"Responding to a question on his future at the club and if there was any offer yet on the cards for him, he responded in the affirmative, but reckons that Enyimba comes first in everything he does.

"I have a lot of offers, I won't lie to you. But for me, Enyimba comes first in everything I do.

"Before I came here, I was a fan of the club and that's why for the past two years that I've been here, I've given everything for the club.

"So, for me, I think the management has trust in me, and I have to give it to Nwankwo Kanu because often times, many Nigerian teams don't trust young coaches.

"So, for him to have trusted me, they know that I have the ability. I'm not trying to brag. The level I coach at, only a few coaches can coach like that at the NPFL level, that's the truth."

Olarewaju went on to reveal that he's homesick at the moment, stressing that after a hectic season, he needs time out to reunite with his family before making a decision on his next career move.

"The only thing I have in my head right now is to go home and spend time with my family. Then, after that, I'll look at whatever offers that come in, including Enyimba.

"Olarewaju admitted there has been a verbal offer from his current employers, Enyimba.

"Yes, something like that, because the Chairman (Nwankwo Kanu) told me, 'Yemi, I don't want you to leave this place.' But like I said, the only thing I have in my head right now is to go home and spend some time with my family.

"You know it has been a hectic season. Since August last year, I've been off and on without my family. So, I have to go home now and spend a few weeks with them. After that, I can decide when or where for next season."


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