The first African coach to take a team to the European Champions League and former Nigeria’s international, Ndubisi Emmanuel Egbo, has expressed delight at his nomination as LEADERSHIP Sports Person of the Year 2020.
He thanked the management and staff of LEADERSHIP Newspapers for the award, saying he had no inkling that a Nigerian media organisation could find him worthy of such a prestigious award.
Egbo, who said he feels humble and awesome to be appreciated by his own people, urged Nigerians to emulate the management and staff of LEADERSHIP Newspaper in promoting and supporting their own in their field of endeavor.
“I thank the organizers and those that voted for choosing me out of all the wonderful and excellent athletes and sports personalities and business leaders in other fields. It’s humbling and awesome to be appreciated by your own people in your fatherland.
“Keep up doing the job to promote our own because our country needs to do that. Europeans support and promote their own, why not we Nigerians and Africans to do the same,” he said.
The former Super Eagles goalkeeper last year emerged the first African coach to lead a European team to a league title when guided KF Tirana FC to Albanian league title and qualified the club for the UEFA Champions League.
Egbo, who has since parted ways with Albanian league side, told LEADERSHIP Sports that he has set up his own academy where he is producing young goalkeepers.
“I’m working at the moment in partnership with some academies to develop their youth teams and also managing my personal academy in training and producing young upcoming goalkeepers for club sides. “Many young goalkeepers come to my academy to do private personal training for two or three weeks and go back to their clubs for the weekend games,” E
The UEFA Pro Licence coach added that he is open to offers from outside Albania that meet his coaching philosophy. “I have refused some offers that came to manage other teams here and from other countries because they did not meet up to the standard and objectives and philosophy that I stand for.
I’m waiting for a better offer from clubs outside of Albania, where I can work according to my coaching philosophy.”
The former Nigerian international featured for KF Tirana during his playing career and returned to join the club’s backroom staff as a goalkeeper coach in 2014 before his appointment as a manager in 2019.
Egbo played as a goalkeeper during his professional career, most notably while representing Tirana and winning three trophies with them. He was also a player of the Nigerian national team, playing 12 matches, and a member of the Nigerian squad at the 2000 and 2002 African Cup of Nations.