Away on international duties at the African Nations Championship otherwise known as CHAN in Morocco, Super Eagles? coach, Salisu Yusuf would apparently missed his domestic chores on the home front.
Days before flying out for the tournament, Yusuf said he was very much involved with everyday tasks in the recess of his home once out of the pitch, insisting he?s a thoroughbred Hausa man.
?I have been coaching since 2002;It?s part of my life,? stated Yusuf who clocked 56 on January 10.
Yusuf reportedly featured for Ranch Bees and El Kanemi Warriors as a box-to-box midfielder in his playing days, while as a coach he has since handled Enyimba, Kano Pillars, El Kanemi, Lobi Stars and FC Taraba. He has a CAF A license, has since won the NPFL championship with Kano Pillars in 2008, the FA Cup with Lobi Stars and Enyimba in 2003 and 2013 respectively. He qualified Nigeria to CHAN 2018 and guided Nigeria to the final of the 2017 WAFU Cup in Ghana and also assisted Gernot Rohr to qualify Nigeria to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia
?My family don?t really see anything wrong in my coaching profession and they understand the nature of the job and that I could be away for a very long time,? he affirmed. ?But whenever I?m at home, I assist the domestic duties; I?m a typical Hausa man at home. I?m an indoor type of person and whenever I?m at home , I help with the domestic duties and ensure that everything is in order too.?
Under Yusuf?s watch, the Super Eagles edged Benin Republic 2-1 to reach the finals where they are drawn in Group C along with 2014 champions Libya, Rwanda and Equatorial Guinea. Nigeria would open her account at this tournament tomorrow against Rwanda at the Stade Ibn Batouta; tackle Libya at the same venue on Friday (January 19) and completed her schedule against Equatorial Guinea in Agadir on January 23rd.
?As a unit we are ready for CHAN; if you look at the way the team has evolved from the CHAN qualifiers to the WAFU Nations Cup, you will agree with me that it is work in progress,? assured Yusuf on the crest of winning the NPFL Invitational tournament. ?The team has done well because we tried to bring in new players and you can see the results; we won the NPFL Invitational and will continue to improve.?
Nigeria is yet to win this particular championship and Morocco 2018 is the country?s fifth appearance at the CHAN after failure to qualify for the first two editions held in Cote d?Ivoire 2009 and Sudan 2011. Late coach Stephen Keshi led the team to the Bronze medal in 2014 while the class of 2015 under coach Sunday Oliseh failed to even progress beyond the group phase.
? Yes, it?s true that Nigeria is yet to win the CHAN; our major target in Morocco is to first qualify from the group but I?m confident we would go far in the tournament,? noted Yusuf who described himself as a positive person.
He offered: ?I?m a simple fellow, easy going man, a loving father and hardworking person.
?Though I don?t have everything in life, I believe God perfects the path of man and makes it interesting. I love the positivity of life.
?As a coach you always want to win but in football you win some and lose some but my message to Nigerians ahead of CHAN 2018 is to pray for us because we need their support to excel in Morocco,? he added.