Exclusive: It’s Important we Improve as a team, and build the ‘confidence’ within the team – Emmanuel Amuneke


The Legendary Nigerian, Coach Emmanuel Amuneke who has done it as a player and a coach, in August joined the Taifa Stars of Tanzania as the head coach of the team.

One month and few days gone, the Nigerian will be in charge of his first official game as the head coach of Tanzania, when his boys take on the cranes of Uganda in an AFCON 2019 qualifying game in Namboole, Uganda.

Many definitely after seeing coach Amuneke join Tanzania would have had different opinions to why he moved to the zone.

Speaking with Naijafootballplus Ltd in an exclusive interview on Thursday evening, Coach Emmanuel Amuneke explained his reason behind the move, the reception he got, the culture of Football in the country, and his assessment to the team so far.


NFP: What was the Motivation behind you taking the Job at Taifa Stars?

AMUNEKE: My motivation was that I found the people that appreciate what I have done to football as a player, that also appreciate what I have done to the game as a coach, and the most important thing is that I find the Federation, the entire Tanzanian people keen on developing their football and improving it. I think that’s the major motivational aspect for me coming to Tanzania.

I so much believe that we can do this and we can motivate them. If we have done that in Nigeria, with players that aren’t even playing in any league, we were able to train them and we were able to win World Cup twice, we can here.

You see in every Journey you take, of course there are always challenges, but you must be focused and be keen, also prepare to withstand all the challenges and Circumstances and do what is right for the interest of the Players to see how we can develop them as a team. I think that’s the main motivational aspect behind my coming to Tanzania.


NFP: How has the reception of the Tanzanian Public being since your appointment?

AMUNEKE: Yes, the people are fantastic, from the first day I was announced as the head coach of the Tanzania national team, the people are amazing, enthusiastic, hopeful and believe things will turn around, and I also believe things will turn around, but all what we have to do, is to remain focused and remain calm, and look at how we can drive the whole thing to the right direction, whereby everyone from the players, fans, those that love the game, those that are involved directly and indirectly, how we can see to transmit an illusion, and how we can build the gap between the old and new players that are growing.

I think these are the key important things.

Well, I am happy, the people here have accepted me as one of them, and I feel at home, comfortable, very happy to have the privilege and opportunity where I can be able to establish my ideas, of course I have worked in Nigeria, and I know how challenging it is.

I know how people weren’t believing in what I was doing, but like I do say, I am not the type that makes a lot of noise, I remain focused in what I am doing.

I know every journey has it’s own challenges, and any journey isn’t any man’s hand but God. What I need to do, is do what is right to the game, and being able to look at the Tanzanian Players, and tell them that they can be able to do something great for the country.

We have a lot of great players, highly talented, but of course talent alone cannot bring success, there are other aspects of the game that we have to build and prepare as a team.


NFP: How Would you describe the Football Culture in Tanzania compared to Nigeria?

AMUNEKE: Well, the culture of football in Tanzania is great, the Tanzanian people are crazy about football, we have here about 3 big teams, we have the Young Africans, Simba, the Hazam, great teams, great players with a lot of quality in them, but like I said we should not dwell only on our quality, or talent alone.

We should see how we emphasise to continue to develop our game, how we can be able to adapt to the changes the game is bringing to us, I think that is key.

Hopefully the players here have to begin to see things from different perspective, they have to begin to make different decision makings, also seeing things from different implementations. I think that’s the only way we can be able to move from one stage to another, but when talking about talent, there are and have a lot of good players in the country.


NFP: What has been your assessment of the team at your disposal so far? And are you under Pressure to Start on a winning note against Uganda?

AMUNEKE: My assessment is that we have a very good team filled with a lot of young players, and we have players mostly playing in the Tanzanian League, and we also have players playing outside the country, not mostly playing at the top, but of course every journey has a beginning and has to start somewhere.

The journey for most of the players have started somewhere, and hopefully in the future they’d be spotted by big clubs.

Talking on whether there is pressure to start with a win against Uganda, it’s important when one wins, but for now I think what’s important is how we improve as a team, to continue to work, to build confidence within ourselves, within the players, letting the players know it’s possible achieving something through hard work, patience, honesty, commitment and discipline.

NFP: Thanks for your time with Naijafootballplus Sir

AMUNEKE: You are Welcome

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