Former Super Eagles assistant coach, Daniel Amokachi, has signed a one-year deal to coach JS Hercules in the upcoming Division Two season.
Founded in 1998, in Oulu, Hercules are a community-based and internationally-minded club in Oulu, northern Finland, just 200km south of the Arctic Circle.
“We are proud to work with him, as even in Finland Amokachi is well-known. He will bring new insight to our team because he saw it all during his career,” Hercules chairman, Juho SyrjÃ¤, said.
Newly-promoted Hercules have four months of pre-season training before their 2nd division debut. Their part-time players are said to be used to temperatures of -25 at this time of the year, whereas in Amokachi’s hometown of Kaduna, the average January temperature is 27 degrees above zero.
“It is certainly an adventure and a big change for me,” says Amokachi. “I take this as a great challenge. The team is young and passionate. I’m looking forward to working with them.”
Amokachi represented Nigeria at the 1994 and 1998 World Cups and was part of the country’s team that won Olympic gold at Atlanta 1996. He also scored the first ever goal in the history of the Champions League, for Club Brugge against CSKA Moskow in 1992. After his playing career, Amokachi, who won the English FA Cup with Everton in 1995, got his coaching badges in the Netherlands and has since coached in Nigeria. He had stints at Nigerian Premier League sides Nasarawa United and FC Ifeanyi Ubah, as well as with the Eagles.
Amokachi is not the first Nigerian coach JS Hercules have had. Another ex-Eagles Ladi Babalola coached Hercules and earned a promotion for the club in the 2012/13 season.
Our correspondent learnt that JS Hercules officials have agreed several projects that will allow fans inside and outside Finland to follow Amokachi’s progress as he leads their first team.
“We and our media partners will reveal more about these projects in due course, but for now the best way to keep in touch with Daniel and JS Hercules is via our official social media channels,” an official stated.
The incoming season is Hercules’ first in the third tier of Finnish football, the second division.