Not many have heard about the brain behind the success of the now famous Football Academy Abuja. The Nigerian Academy that has transfered over 18 players abroad in just four years.
Owngoalnigeria.com in it’s quest to unearth the secret behind the success of the academy, was told by one of the staff at the club about a certain Ahmed Lawal Dankoli, popularly referred to as “Black Mourinho” .
Black Mourinho like he loves to be called, started working with the Academy as coach in 2012 and has since gone on to better himself with refresher courses in Europe, notably Croatia and Russia.
He cuts across as a gentle, soft spoken coach but tough on the pitch especially when his instructions are not properly carried out by the players under his tutelage.
The former footballer, who had his career cut short due to an injury has used his carrot and stick approach to horne over 18 raw footballers, picked from the streets to international stardom.
Presently he boast of over 18 players abroad with Dream Team VI ace Sadiq Umar and his Roma childhood friend Nura Abdullahi top of his discoveries. Inter Milan latest teen sensation Theophilus Awua ranks among his latest.
Bonaventure Dennis, who stars for Zorya in Ukraine, Theophilus Solomon and Jamilu Collins of Istra, Aliyu Okechukwu of Split in Croatia lead the duo of Gerard Diyoke and Odion Ajayi.
Only recently Suleiman Mohammed of Spezia who has been linked with a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid joined David Okereke, another of Lawal’s protege at the Serie B side.
The list doesn’t end there as the quartet of Nigeria U-17 World Cup winners Abdullahi Alfa (Ventspills), Dele Alampasu (CD Feirense), Orji Okonkwo (Bologna) and Kingsley Michael who is also close to joining Bologna.
His secret still remains, the ability to spot talented players and groom them into international material with his unending work ethics, patience and commitment to the welfare of the teen under his tutelage.