Is Bendel Insurance’s Monday Odigie the best Coach in Nigeria?


What Bendel Imsurance achieved in the 2022-23 campaign was unprecedented, and much that success is down to their Coach, Monday Odigie.

Odigie gained promotion with Insurance to the Nigeria Professional Football League, now Nigeria Premier League, and in his first season was a genuine contender for the League title.



Due to the inconsistency with the League’s resumption, but chiefly to align the calendar with other Leagues across the Continents, the new governing body of the NPL, an Interim body – The Interim Management Committee – voted overwhelmingly for an Abridged league.

That format profited Insurance, who had some decent funding from its Owner, the Edo State Government, and like Tasmanian beast, one by one they took down every opponent and reached 21 consecutive games in the League before they registered their first defeat.

Apparently, the strategy which had seemed foolproof through the regular season failed the test of the Playoffs.

Their unbeaten run – which includes their Federation Cup form – at the time stood at 26, until their fourth game in the Playoffs against Rivers United.

Odigie’s team fell 2-1, and got yet another L in a crucial fifth round of games when Remo Stars pipped them 1-0.

In the regular season, 22 goals in 18 games might appear paltry, but I’m resolute defending the team showed their true quality.

Albeit not palatable to watch at times, Monday Odigie assembled and set up his team to be a decent defensive unit.

The Insurance defence in the regular season conceded only 11 times, no team recorded less – Enyimba conceded 12.

But the story in the Playoffs wasnt the same, and 5 goals conceded in five games (2 defeats), didn’t look good as did their goals return – just 3 and no wins recorded.

The signs had been on the wall, but it was a run that saw them claim some big scalps at home in the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, as well as they did on the road.

Yet, Bendel Imsurance will play on the continent next season after they closed their season with a 1-0 Federation Cup final win against Enugu Rangers.

It is only fitting that Imade Osarenkhoe clinched the Cup for them; his goals had carried the team in the first half of the NPL season.

The club will take stock of the 2023 campaign and no doubt, Monday Odigie would have ticked many boxes, enough to earn him an improved contract and big wallet to bolster the team for another incredible run next season.


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