Coach Dan: THE ART OF GOAL SCORING IN THE NPFL – standards going down


It’s a worrisome scenario, why most top NPFL goal scorers fizzle out after shining in the league and struggle in their various teams abroad.

From Jude Aneke, Chibuzor Ozurumba, Salami, Mfon Udoh, junior Lokosa, Steven Odey.

Technically,  for the past decade Top NPFL goal scorers have struggled for consistency, form and standard.


To be relevant in a profession you will need stability. When you find European players enjoying rich form, check their career path. How many clubs did they play for in a span of 12 years as a professional, mostly 3 or 4. That is from age 18 to 30 years of effectively playing  football.


Unfortunately, for most  NPFL stars, once they move abroad, it is usually a makeshift arrangement to use the club as a stepping stone to attract bigger clubs.


They go to these new clubs with high expectations but the players mental framework is not there.

Basically, players start thinking of catching attention of bigger suitors with bigger pay cheque.


Psychologically, players get unsettled and performances drops. Even when a player makes  an impact (lower leagues) those clubs would normally want to have him for 4 years, but, the African will want to move quickly.

He jumps boat and begins a new process of adaptation again in a new environment and with players with different philosophy.


The persistent focuses his mind to move to a bigger club like Marseille, R.S.C. Anderlecht, Porto or PSV is always there.

How do we expect a player to perform effectively when he plans to move from NPFL to Esperance to Standard Liege to Anderlecht to Lille and to Bolton all within a decade; His head is messed up.


The path is too long and he won’t have dedication to any of his employers,”Na dem go punish am with bench role to see if he go dey dedicated to them”.

A season of bench role and our star boy is already thinking of running to India, Malaysia, China or Iran for quick money knowing that his career is short due to previous false age declaration.



NPFL needs money so that the best talents can choose to remain here, build their wealth and live the good life without caring about European football.

Many in South Africa’s PSL will not taste another league but will live the good life without pressure of moving out for greener pastures.


Backwardly, Its actually unfortunate for them and the NPFL football fraternity, considering how well they were in the NPFL and wanted their career to unfold with shining options.


Significantly, one would say they’re going to have it smooth ride at the top after their record breaking goal scoring season in the Nigerian Football League but it’s all a different ball game.



Positively, a lot of factors comes to play (more than we know) as to why its not all rosy for them.

It could be in the aspect of expectations, age, sometimes discipline level and sometimes some deals don’t fall through for them due to Agents and former club high demands.


Sometimes a lot happens behind the scenes more than we know, that could hinder smooth transition to the top.

I think whatever the problem may be, it can be fixed… Fundamentally- grassroot football orientation needs to be enhanced.



Goal scoring is an ART, to master it – you must have gone through the basics at a very young age, our academies don’t deal on specifics like their foreign counterparts.

Goal scoring has to be practiced, analysed and understood at a early age with specifics on talent discovery.

Specifically, few Africans have succeeded in that department and upon close observation, the few who did, actually left Africa early or grew up over there.


Look at all the highest goal scorer in our local league, I vividly cannot remember anyone scoring above  25 goals a season without the exception of manufactured penalty kicks taking bulk of the number.


Tactically, Nigerian players are more successful in areas where talent & skills is crucial and vital, we hardly survive where specifics and applications are necessary.


A striker in Europe starts to be one from ages 8/10, scoring goals in grassroots and coached for only that purpose after identification.

Unlike here, one coach will just wake up one day because you are either tall or good with the head and tell you go and lead the line as a striker.

Watch “Oyinbo” strikers even backing the post they already know the angles and positioning.


Purposefully, the art of goal scoring needs practice, hard word and consistency to be mastered.


The Article was contributed by Nigerian Coach, Uni Dan Kakwi.


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