Nigeria Professional Football League side Abia Warriors have unveiled former Enugu Rangers coach Imama Amapakabo as their new head coach in a ceremony at the Umuahia Township Stadium on Wednesday.
Amapakabo has signed a two-year deal with the Umuahia-based outfit and has been tasked with “taking Abia Warriors Football Club to the next level” a club statement said.
Amapakabo, who has also managed El Kanemi Warriors was most recently, assistant coach Super Eagles coach and head coach of the home-based Eagles and U23 national team but was let go after the expiration of his contract.
Amapakabo was catapulted into national fame when he led Enugu Rangers to a first league title in 30 years in 2016.
He was sacked by the Flying Antelopes shortly after and was snapped up by El Kanemi in 2017 on a one-year deal but left the Maiduguri-based club at the end of the season after the club declined to renew his contract.
Amapakabo was part of the Super Eagles manager Gernot Rohr’s backroom staff as an assistant coach at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and the 2019 AFCON in Egypt where Nigeria finished in third place.
As Super Eagles assistant coach, he also had overall responsibility for the home-based Eagles and U23 national teams and in those roles, he oversaw a string of disastrous results that saw his once-promising stock plummet.
Amapakabo oversaw a poor showing at the WAFU Nations Cup in Senegal then followed it up with failure to qualify the home-based Super Eagles for the 2020 CHAN – both times falling to Togo’s Sparrow Hawks all in the space of less than a month.
With him at the helm, the Olympic Eagles failed to defend their title at the 3rd U23 AFCON in Egypt suffering an early exit from the tournament and ultimately missing out of the football event of the now postponed 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
His appointment by Abia Warriors sees a return to club management for the first time in three years.