There is a saying that when you pursue excellence success will chase you pants down; this could best describe Coach Usman Abd’Allah.
For many who have followed Nigerian league football, it is never easy to make an impression, however, seamlessly Abd’Allah took to the league like a fish in water, with the high-point being clinching the title in the 2018/2019 season with former club Enyimba International FC, a feat that puts him amongst the holy of holies of the game.
Surprisingly, Coach Usman Abd’Allah has kept a low profile despite being a former Nigerian international, a professional footballer who has plied his trade in different countries and top leagues; he also has a sound educational background which in no small measure is partly responsible for his polished outlook and ideas.
Who is Coach Usman Abd’Allah?
Born on July 16, 1974, Usman Sidi Abd’Allah is a native of Kano State in Northern Nigeria and holds a French citizenship as well.
Abd’Allah is indeed a football man through -and –through and began his football career in various Nigerian Clubs; including Sanka Vipers of Kano, UNTL of Kaduna, Rocks of Kaduna, Stationery Stores of Lagos, he also had a stint with Mogas 90 of Benin Republic.
At one point in the 1980s Abd’Allah played along with the likes of Nduka Ugbade, Imama Amapakabo and several others in the national Under-20 team and Under-23 team along with his older brother (Hassan Abd’Allah).
In 1991 Usman Abd’Allah moved abroad to Europe and Asia. He first joined Al Arabic of Saudi Arabia and then Bayern Leverkusen in Germany.
He moved to Singapore where he played for three S-League sides – Jurong FC, Khalsa Fc, and Gombak United FC, his journey in Asia also involved stints with top sides like; Sheikh Russle in Bangladesh and Kalantan FC in Malaysia.
At the peak of his playing powers, he returned to France and starred for FC Bolen and FC Sete before retirement.
Usman Abd’Allah retired from active football in 2006 and has since joined coaching where he is gradually evolving into one of the finest in this part of the world. He first coached in the French lower division for EPS FC, FC Sete, FC Frontignan and Bollene FC.
For all it is worth a coach is as good as his number of badges, an ideology Abd’Allah strives on. The 45 year old holds a UEFA B Licence Certificate (France) and a UEFA A Licence obtained in England. He obtained degrees in football coaching and team management at Le CREPS de Montpellier in France where he got the equivalent of the UEFA C, B and A certificates.
He has attended several coaching courses, including CAF courses and Strength and Conditioning Level 1 Coaching Certificate in Australia. Apparently, he has a National Coaching Accreditation Programme (NCAP) Level 1 certificate from Singapore as well as the LaLiga Coaching Certificate and a few more.
It will surprise you to know that Abd’Allah started attending some of these courses as far back as 1999 which has culminated in the so many certificates in both coaching and management.
Abd’Allah has scored incredibly well with an impressive résumé and he’s undoubtedly amongst the new generation of Nigerians gradually working their way along the coaching ladder, little wonder why he is the toast of the industry.
Since his return to the country, his coaching odyssey has been quite eventful, he first pitch tent as an assistant coach to Kabiru Baleria in Kano Pillars, he soon got the same offer at Enyimba and as fate will have it he was named interim boss of the two-time CAF Champions League winners in July 2018 after Coach Paul Aigbogun left the club to concentrate on national team duties. At the start of the 2019 campaign Abd’Allah was named substantive coach of the team. His three seasons with the club culminated in a semifinal finish in the CAF Confederation Cup and a Nigeria Professional Football League title. Abd’Allah’s third season with the league champions was topsy-turvy and led to his exit, after which he joined Wikki Tourists of Bauchi less than a week later in a lucrative deal.
In spite being a football thoroughbred, Abd’Allah is a 1989 graduate of Chemical Engineering at the Kaduna State Polytechnic.
Abd’Allah’s sojourn in the league so far has been eye-catching; from the fringes he has earned a place in the enviable pantheon of history as one of the few coaches who have won the NPFL in such a short time.