CLUB NEWS

Ilechukwu: The drama of 'The Working One' at MFM

By Victor Modo

Famed for animated reactions and mind boggling facial expressions, MFM FC coach, Fidelis Ilechukwu nicknamed The Working One is indeed a delight to watch on the touchline.

From thumbs up, threatening his players with blue murder and running the length of the field to celebrate goals with his players, the young coach maintains a tight grip on his players to keep them on their toes throughout the game.

This season, the MFM trainer has served up a catalogue full of classic moments.

 

On Matchday 31, Ilechukwu in his usual no-holds-bar style on the sidelines barked, jumped and gestured at his players as Katsina United were running circles around his midfield in the first 10 minutes. He simply brought out the hairdryer treatment to his players to ensure they do not let down their guard.

When his team finally opened scoring through Stephen Odey who got his 18th goal of the season. The celebrate was a typical Ilechukwu style. Ilechukwu ran the length of the field to do his classic top of the pile jump on his players. He repeated same for Sikiru Olatunbosun's goal.

In reacting to two moments of class by Destiny Ashadi and Obinna Eleje who scored stunning free kicks for Katsina United to level matters, Ilechukwu looked up to the skies for the first one and shouted incessantly at his players for the second.

The pick of the Ilechukwu moments was his reaction to the winning goal by Chukwuka Onuwa that ultimately gave his team the three points. Searching for a goal, Ilechukwu turned to his bench and he called on Chijioke Akuneto to rescue the three points for his team.

Just before the substitution could be effected, Onuwa popped up with the winning goal, meaning Ilechukwu did not need an attacking substitution anymore. He needed a defensive one.

Ilechukwu instead of just withdrawing the piece of paper indicating the substitution to the fourth official, elected to drag Akuneto off the touchline where he was stripped and ready to come on. He pulled him the length of the field to celebrate the goal with his goalkeeper and defenders.

Smiles, fist pumping, hairdryer moments, cut throat stares and most recently substitute-pulling are reasons Ilechukwu, who has led the club to promotion from the second tier, saved them from relegation last season and now challenging for the title, is loved.

Photo Gallery : Football Action