Completesportsnigeria.com's JOHNNY EDWARD highlights ten memorable football facts of the late former Nigeria international and ex-Super Eagles assistant coach, Kelechi Emeteole, before he passed away in the early morning of Wednesday June 21 2017, in India where he went for medicals.
1. 17 CAPS FOR NIGERIA
Emetiole had 17 International Caps and scored four goals for the Green Eagles of Nigeria after making his debut on July 13,1975 against Congo in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Brazzaville which Nigeria won 1-0 with a Sunny Oyarekhua goal.
2. 1st Goal For Nigeria Vs Zambia
Emeteole first scored for Nigeria against Zambia in Lusaka as Nigeria defeated Zambia 3-1 in Lusaka in an International Friendly game in 1976.
3. 2nd Goal For Nigeria Vs Morocco
Emeteole scored his second International goal on April 3rd 1976 against Morocco in an Olympic qualifier which Nigeria won 3-1 in Lagos.
4. 3rd Goal For Nigeria Vs Sierra Leone
His third Eagles goal was scored against Sierra-Leone on October 30,1976 – a FIFA World Cup qualifier vs Sierra Leone. Nigeria won 6-2 at home. Goals from Segun Odegbami, Aloysius Atuegbu, a brace from the late Thompson Usiyen, Kunle Awesu and of course Emeteole's goal sealed a remarkable victory for Nigeria.
5. 4th Goal For Nigeria Vs Sierra Leone
His fourth goal came on March 12,1977 in a 1-1 draw vs Sierra Leone in Freetown in a Nations cup qualifier.
6. Assistant Coach Stints In The National Teams
Emeteole was one of the Sebastine Brodricks' assistant coaches when the Golden Eaglets won the maiden FIFA U-17 World Cup (FIFA/Kodak U-16 World Cup then) in 1985, in China.
He was also an assistant coach as Brodericks also led the Nigerian lads to the 1987 U-17 World Cup in Canada. He also once served as an assistant coach in the national U-20 team, the Flying Eagles.
Emeteole also served in the senior national team, the Super Eagles, under the late Shaibu Amodu.
7. Nigerian League Veteran As Player And Coach
As a player, Emeteole distinguished himself playing in the Nigerian League of the olden days, the reason he was called up to the national team – the Green Eagles
He played for the Spartans of Owerri which metamorphosed into Iwuanyanwu Nationale. The club is known today as Heartland. He also played for Mighty Jets of Jos and Enugu Rangers.
The late Emeteole remains the only Nigerian coach to have coached Heartland FC on four different occasions.
As coach, he also had spells with Calabar Rovers, El Kanemi Warriors and Insurance of Benin. He was also an assistant coach to Tunde Disu at Saudi 89 FIFA U U20 World Cup.
8. Meeting With Idol, Arsene Wenger
His best ever moment, according to one of his bosom friends, Solomon Onu, was meeting his coaching Idol Arsene Wenger during a coaching clinic in England.
9. 2009 CAFCL Silver Medal Feat With Heartland
Another remarkable moment for Emeteole was leading Heartland as head coach to the final of the CAF Champions League in 2009 but regreted not beating the eventual winners TP Mazembe.
10. Emeteole The "Whistle-Blower"
One style that stood Emeteole out from other coaches was that he never yelled the names of his players from the sidelines during matches. Instead, he whistled their names with mouth and each time the particular player heard the whistle and responded by turning to his direction to receive instructions.