Akwa United have moved to appoint Rafael Everton as their coach.
The Uyo club have been in search of a new coach following the departure of Abdu Maikaba, who has since joined Plateau United.
According to sources, two local coaches were considered, but the Akwa management have now turned to Everton to take over from Maikaba, who reportedly turned down a contract extension at the Uyo side in order to stay close to his family, who live in Kano.
Also, club chairman Paul Bassey on Wednesday hinted that the Brazilian, who previously coached FC Ifeanyi Ubah and Abia Warriors, has been picked as Maikaba’s successor.
During an interaction with reporters, Bassey ruled out the likes of Imama Amapakabo and Paul Aigbogun — national team coaches — for the job
The boss revealed that, given his experience with erstwhile coach Maikaba — who was with the Nigeria U20 team at some points last season — he doesn’t fancy appointing any local coach who already has a national team job.
“I had zeroed myself that I was not going to get a coach from Nigeria, for obvious reasons. But I still talked to one of them, who was fresh, who was good,” Bassey said.
“I’ve up to Friday to finally get the person that I want. By God’s grace, we’ll unveil the coach on Monday.
“By December-January, they (club coaches who double as national team coaches) will be away for five weeks, and I said to myself, ‘Five weeks is 15 points’. In an abridged league, that’s lots, lots of points.
“Coaches on national duty are seconded from their clubs. I get scared now that there’s an abridged league. I don’t want a situation [where our coach would be away from us due to national duty].
” Even if Maikaba was here, I would have been working on a tight rope, because whenever he left, we had problems.”