Appointed 2013 as the man to shape the future of Sunshine Stars, American trained Henry Abiodun [pictured], is set to make his mark in the country.
After several years in the United States, Abiodun decided it was time to return to the country.
According to him: “I accepted the job of technical instructor with the Ondo State Football Agency to give back acquired knowledge.
“In 2012, I applied for the position of the technical director of the Nigeria Football Federation in 2012, but the interview wasn’t conducted after my application was acknowledged.
“The former 3SC board equally consulted me in 2012 for the vacant managerial position, but for the problem between the then commissioner and board.”
With the achievement of some of his predecessors at the club, a section of the fans would continue to question his quality.
Call him a fresh man in the Glo Premier League and you won’t be wrong. But he’s ready for the long haul.
“I was initially drafted to assist the team in the second half the season,” he told supersport.com.
It is only his first season as Sunshine Stars gaffer and Abiodun is already attracting attention.
Abiodun’s first match against Enyimba in front of the ever partisan Akure fans may have produced no spark, but the result his team achieved in Kano is enough to boost his profile in the land.
With Pillars’ pedigree as back-to-back champions, it was normal to expect Sunshine Stars to lose Sunday’s match.
But the reverse was the case as Abiodun’s side was close to recording a famous away win at champions Kano Pillars and cancel a 10-year old home record.
No one expected Sunshine to fight back especially when you consider the fact that top stars like Alaba Osawe, Cletus Itodo, Moses Ocheje, Phillip Auta, Ibrahim Ajani and Hele Isaac amongst others left the club.
Add the exit of the club’s biggest star, Godfrey Oboabona, then you understand the task Abiodun is contending with at the club.
Abiodun attributed the early bombardment from Pillars to inferiority complex.
Interestingly, his squad was littered with no fewer than five players who watched 2013 League Bloggers Awards (LBA) Player of the Season, Rabiu Ali and Abdullahi Shehu shine at the 2014 Chan, in South Africa.
Tolu Aluko, Adeniyi Alaba, Obi Ekene and Tunde Adeniyi cannot be compared to the quality of stars in the Pillars squad.
Inspirational skipper, Theophilus Afelokhai, Bello Musa Kofarmata, Kingsley Udoh and Gambo Muhammad, who have international experience with different national teams were some of the big names on parade for Pillars.
“My players over-respected Kano Pillars in the first half. The situation changed in the second half and that’s why we pushed them and got goals,” he said to supersport.com.
Abiodun expressed confidence that his side can maintain the tempo as the league progresses.
“Scoring two goals in Kano is no mean feat. With this, we can play better and remain consistent,” he told supersport.com.
Name: Henry Abiodun
Club: Sunshine Stars
Previous Clubs: Obeya Babes, Oturkpo (Assistant), Nigerdock (Assistant, 1992), Exide Ibadan (Head Coach, 1993), 3SC (Attachment under Godfrey Esu, 1994)
Premier Diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)
Grade-one coaching license from the National Institute for Sports (NIS), Lagos, Nigeria
Culled from supersport.com