Home Sports Dumped twice from Eaglets, dazzling now in Flying Eagles

Dumped twice from Eaglets, dazzling now in Flying Eagles


If you are looking for a Nigerian footballer who faced countless difficulties and heartbreaking disappointed at the height of breakthrough, Emmanuel Umeh sums it up as your ideal case study.

Here is a teenage footballer from the streets of Abia state looking for ways to take his football to reckoning, but the road had terrible stumbling blocks, yet he refused to be swept off from the road leading to his goal of making football his career.

Not even after being rejected and dumped twice from the Golden Eaglets camp preparing for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil and later the squad aiming to conquer at WAFU B U17 tournament in Lome, Togo in 2021.

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Emmanuel Umeh when he was playing grassroot football in Nigeria

He came with determination of a typical Nigerian grassroot teenage footballer to the Golden Eaglets screening exercise under the tutelage of Manu Garba OON, but he could not make the team.

As an attacker, Umeh was very determined to be in the team that he swapped position to play at the left full back after he was informed by one of the coaches that the left full back position was a concern to the technical crew.

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Emmanuel Umeh

Well, at the end of the day, he was dropped at the screening level. Yet, he showed up a year later during the screening exercise of same  Eaglets but under a new coach in Fatai Amoo. Unfortunately, he was again drooped.

You don’t give up on love, especially when the love for football flows in your veins and it has energised your whole body and that was driving force behind Umeh.

He is very fortunate to be an academy player with Right2Win Sports Club of Umuahia, Abia State. The management of the club led by the President, Egnr. Kelechi Orji Nnorom gave him the proper guidance and counselling, with strong psychology that made him remain focus.

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Days of little beginning …Right2Win Sports Club President , Egnr. Kelechi Orji Nnorom and Emmanuel Umeh

And he left Right2win on scholarship to Football development center at Vista Russia in November 2021. It was the opportunity that Umeh had been looking for and he never disappointed the Russians, neither his management team at Right2Win.

He flourished like a tree planted by the rivers side while in Russia. From a tiny and frail looking Nigerian teenage footballer to a muscularly built robust attacker.

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New arrival in Russia…Emmmauel Umeh

Defenders and goalkeepers in Russia became his prey at will, deleting them out of his way with his deft touches, dribbling skills, energetic display and powerful shots on both feet.

He developed swiftly and sweetly to the admiration of Vista Football management and Right2Win back in Nigeria were also glad.

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Emmanuel Umeh in action in Russian league

Umeh spent 9months in Russia before joining Bulgarian premier league side Botev Plovdiv on 31st August 2022. He started with the B team of the side before he was promoted to the first team after the technical crew of Botev Plovdiv discovered that his football is fully developed to play in the main team.

He has scored four goals in total this season which is his first season as a professional before his invitation to the Flying Eagles, where he has since shown to Nigerians his strong quality.

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Emmanuel Umeh in action for his club, Botev Plovdiv in Bulgarian league

Italians will never forget him in a hurry as he displayed strong tenacity to win the ball and gave a perfect cross to Salim Fago Lawal, who nodded in the first goal for Nigeria against Italy. He is a versatile forward who operates from all forward positions.

His effort leading the goal did not go unnotice by the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF. Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, the scribe of the Federation was very impressed with him and the player was given $100.00 as a reward.

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Enterprising Emmmauel Umeh in action against Italy at the 2023 FIFA U20 World Cup in Argentina.It ended 2-0 in favour of Nigeria.

Prior to his exploit against Italy, he came in as a second half substitute against Dominican Republic and there was no doubt that his inclusion was a master stroke from Ladan Bosso led technical crew of the Flying Eagles. Umeh added more potency  to the attack of the Flying Eagles as Nigeria won 2-1.

The attacker was on the pitch for 90minutes as Nigeria lost to Brazil 2-0, but there was no doubt about the quality of his football against the South American champions.

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All smiles …Emmanuel Umeh

It is hoped that Umeh will continue to improve his game as he wears the national colours of Nigeria, also in Europe where he plies his trade with Botev Plovdiv of Bulgaria.

Umeh has shown to the world that Nigeria is a country flowing with abundance of football talents and being told you were not good enough in the past does not define your future.

Your future as a young Nigerian footballer is indeed colourful and beautiful if you will never give up like Emmanuel Umeh. Don’t give up!

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