Head coach of Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) new boys, Dakkada FC, Caleb Esu has revealed “the mind behind” his “success” after nine games.
Coach Esu and his boys came into the league as underdogs, but have pulled some surprising results with their most recent: the 2-1 midweek win against reigning champions, Enyimba FC at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium on Matchday 9.
The Nigeria National League (NNL) defending champions are now sitting second with 16 points in nine matches, two points behind Plateau United.
One would wonder who inspires the formerly named Akwa Starlets boss?
“I should say to the public that I have a mentor as far as this game is concerned. He is my great teacher, though he is dead now. He taught me how to play good football and that is my head of department in the National Institute for Sports, late Coach Yemi Tella. He has been the mind behind what you are seeing now. He gave me the confidence,” Esu said.
“In fact, he was so close to me that even those who are my colleagues will tell you. When I was doing my Higher National Diploma, he will always call me if I don’t have any class to come and take on the grade three students and that really helped me a great deal. Most of our coaches who know me know I don’t lack what to do inasmuch as football is concerned,” he continued.
The late Tella won the FIFA U17 World Cup for Nigeria back in 2007 which was his last outing as a coach before his painful demise.
Tella’s legacy as a coach of coaches is well established and Esu is one of the beneficiaries of his experience.
Speaking on his tactics which have helped the team enjoy a string of good results including an emphatic 3-0 away win against Rangers International n Enugu, the Cross River native said, “Every CAF ‘A’ coach should have a philosophy. You must have your own philosophy and believe in it, and as you do that will always take you along…I believe in total football.”
Dakkada will play host to town rivals, Akwa United in a mouthwatering later today (Sunday) at the Nest of Champions on Matchday 10.