That championship side, Wigan Athletic appointed Ivorian international, Kolo Toure as the first team manager on a three-and-a-half-year deal is a good sign that top leagues in the world are beginning to recognize Africans as having the ability to manage big clubs.
In the near future, we might begin to see Nigerian coaches manage Premiership clubs.
There are already signs pointing in that direction. Sunday Oliseh made his statement as a coach in Belgium and The Netherlands.
Daniel Amokachi has made his mark coaching a Finnish club. Michael Emenalo has served as technical director at Chelsea FC.
Maureen Mmadu, the Anambra-born football star has made her mark on a Norwegian football team.
So, Kolo Toure’s appointment to the top job is a positive sign. And of course, the Wigan board has the confidence he can deliver.
The CEO’s impression: The Chief Executive Officer of the club, Malachy Brannigan confirmed the appointment through a club statement that reads as follows:
- “We are delighted that Kolo has become the new manager of Wigan Athletic Football Club, and the board is pleased that he is the man to take us forward.
- “We received a high calibre of applicants for the manager’s job in recent weeks, in a very thorough recruitment process as we looked to appoint the right person for the role.”
Kolo’s career: Kolo Toure started his footballing career at the Ivorian club ASEC Mimosas in 1999. The defender also played for Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool, and Celtic FC. He also had 120 caps for his country, Ivory Coast.
The Ivorian started his coaching career five years ago with Scottish Premiership side, Celtic FC in September 2017. He also coached under Brendan Rodgers at Leicester City.
Touré’s first game in charge as the First-team Manager of Wigan Athletic will be away at The Den, taking on Millwall on Saturday 10 December.
The appointment of Kolo Toure comes after the sacking of their former manager, Leam Richardson earlier this month.
Brannigan said the following after the appointment:
- “From the earliest of conversations we had with Kolo, it was evident to us that he had instantly bought into the values of the Club – with his enthusiasm, knowledge and immense desire to work and be part of Wigan Athletic shining throughout the process.
- “There is no doubt that this appointment is an exciting one for the Football Club. Kolo is a manager who wants to play a positive brand of football and will strive every day to make the Club stronger.
- “The work starts immediately with the first team squad, as the season is just a couple of weeks away from restarting.
- “As a Board of Directors, we look forward to working closely with Kolo and his team as the work begins collectively to establish Wigan Athletic as a Championship Club.
- “I am sure that all Latics supporters will get behind the appointment of Kolo Touré, give their backing to the staff and the players, as the Football Club begins a new, exciting era – starting at Millwall on December 10th.”
Kolo’s take: Commenting on his appointment as the Wigan Athletic first team manager, Kolo Touré said:
- “I would like to thank all of the fans, players and staff of Leicester City Football Club, Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, Susan Whelan, Jon Rudkin and of course Brendan Rodgers for making me feel so welcome for so many years.
- “The experiences that I have amassed under Brendan Rodgers have been invaluable and I’m sure they will help me in this next chapter of my career.
- “I am extremely proud to be named Manager of Wigan Athletic. Wigan Athletic is a big club with hugely passionate fans. Together, we can continue to make the right steps forward.
- “I’m excited to work with this talented group of players and staff, and immensely look forward to my time ahead.
The 41-year-old Ivorian international is the first African to be appointed as the First-team Manager of an England senior football club. The appointment is a blessing to Africans including Nigerian coaches aspiring to reach top positions in their coaching careers.
Yaya Toure, a brother of the Wigan First-team manager is currently an Academy coach at the English top-flight side, Tottenham Hotspur, and if he continues on this trajectory, there’s a high chance of him becoming a First-team manager at a first-tier side.
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