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Gbenga Arokoyo: Former international confirms applying for Golden Eaglets job



By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde

With his playing days behind, former Nigeria junior international Gbenga Arokoyo has expressed interest in coaching the national U-17 team.

The former Umea FC defender announced his retirement from football this month after getting his UEFA A License in 2023 and played for Umea FC, Kalmar FF, Portland Timbers, Gaziantepspor, and Mjällby AIF before retirement.

His resolve to inspire the next generation of footballers and give back to the sport that has been his passion explains his interest in the Golden Eaglets vacant role.

“In response to questions about my ambition to become the U-17 national team coach, I want to express my sincere interest and enthusiasm for such a role,” Arokoyo stated.

“Having dedicated over 14 years to football, both as a player and now as a coach, I have developed a deep passion for nurturing talent and fostering the development of young players.

“My experience as the head trainer for Umea FC Academy U21, where we achieved significant success and promotion, has equipped me with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in coaching at the national level.

“Becoming the U-17 national team coach would not only be a tremendous honor but also a fulfilling opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the future of football in our country.

“I am committed to creating a supportive and empowering environment where young athletes can thrive both on and off the field. Furthermore, I am dedicated to instilling values of teamwork, discipline, and sportsmanship in the players under my guidance.

“I am confident that my background, expertise, and passion for the game make me well-suited for the responsibilities of a national team coach. I am eager to contribute my skills and experiences to the success of the U17 national team and to help shape the future of football in our nation.”

Former Flying Eagles Defender Gbenga Arokoyo Secures Three-Year Deal with Kalmar FF

Former Flying Eagles Defender Gbenga Arokoyo Secures Three-Year Deal with Kalmar FF

The U-17 category of coaching is quite different from other levels of football as it is a developmental stage.

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To succeed in the role, Arokoyo outlined some immediate changes he intends to execute if appointed as the manager of the record World champions.

“Emphasize freedom of self-expression with the ball: I would encourage players to express themselves creatively on the field, fostering confidence and individual flair in their playing style.

“Develop a unique playing identity: I would work with the team to establish a distinct footballing identity that reflects our values, strengths, and culture. This identity will be characterized by a combination of technical proficiency, tactical intelligence, and resilience, allowing us to compete effectively at any level.

“Instill a winning mentality: I will prioritize the development of a winning mindset among the players, emphasizing the importance of mental toughness, discipline, and determination. Through focused training sessions, strategic planning, and positive reinforcement, we will cultivate a mindset that enables us to overcome challenges and achieve our goals consistently.

“Foster respect and honor: I will emphasize the significance of representing Nigeria and wearing the national jersey with pride, instilling values of respect, integrity, and sportsmanship in all aspects of our play. Our actions on and off the field will reflect our commitment to upholding the honor and dignity of our country and our team.

“By implementing these changes, I believe we can create a dynamic and successful team that is not only capable of competing at the highest level but also serves as a source of inspiration and pride for our nation.” He concluded.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has placed the Super Eagles and Golden Eaglets coaching role vacant this month after the expiration of Jose Peseiro’s contract with the three-time African champions.

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Nduka Ugbade was in charge of the Golden Eaglets the last time out as the team couldn’t qualify for the last FIFA U-17 World Cup.