Saints FC’s manager, Abdulhakim Osumah has informed the club that he will be stepping down from his position at the end of the month. The former striker, who will be leaving the country next month to continue his studies, succeeded long serving Opeyemi Tokoya in January, an appointment many hoped would last long in a bid to continue the success The Army’s dynasty has enjoyed over the past three years.
Abdulhakim, nicknamed Dinho in comparison to the legendary Brazilian forward, is an iconic figure at the club and led Saints FC to two TPL titles in 2015, scoring that famous lob to round off a magnificent counter-attacking move in the finals against rivals, Royals FC. Last year, in his last playing season for the club, he led Saints FC’s scoring chart, banging in six goals while becoming the first ever player in SociaLiga history to score a hat-trick as the Saints FC were crowned inaugural League winners – a feat that saw him make the Team of the Season while finishing third in the League MVP voting behind Royals FC’s Emmanuel Eze and Knights FC’s Samson Chukwu.
Dinho, who is currently unbeaten as a manager, picked up his first silverware of the season (in a Super Cup fixture against Knights FC) in his very first game of the season and was a clear favorite to win the League title with Saints and pick up the Manager of the Season award in December. Dinho inherited the best squad in the league and has maintained its status over the past six months. While there was very little to be improved on in the squad, the defense has been the most improved unit in the team, allowing just one goal in while keeping four clean-sheets leaving them two points clear at the top of the Island Conference.
Dinho’s departure comes with a bit of uncertainty and, perhaps, a very little cause for concern. With Opeyemi Tokoya ruling himself out of the job, Saints FC’s next manager would be their fourth manager in a just little over a year. Last season, Mayowa Sobande started as manager of The Army and after a series of average performances by The Army’s standards, coupled with personal off-field commitments, he stepped down as manager and was succeeded by Opeyemi Tokoya who had to come out of retirement. A fourth manager in fourteen months would usually spell instability, but Saints FC’s culture of always promoting from within coupled with their togetherness means their fans have nothing to worry about. At least not yet.
While it remains unclear who would take over as manager of The Army, Victor Onunu would be hoping to try his hands on the job having held the assistant manager role at the club for close to two years now. Another rumored candidate for the job is current defender, Bishi Abdulwaheed who many believe would be a perfect fit having been at the club for long.
Saints FC would be holding a testimonial match today to honor their departing loyal servant, Abdulhakim Osumah (details to be communicated). It’ll be an occasion to celebrate a ex-player and manager who, despite tormenting and bullying Czars FC, remained a great ambassador for his club and the SociaLiga.