November 4, 2014 – President of Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Amaju Pinnick on Tuesday heaped encomiums on the immediate past Director General of the National Sports Commission, Chief Patrick Ekeji for the extensive research and general painstaking efforts that he invested in his book, Odyssey Of A Green Eagle – From The Pitch To The Summit.
The former Nigeria international defender, former Head Coach of the Senior National Team, former lecturer and former high –flying administrator launched the book in Abuja on Tuesday last week.
Speaking after going through a copy of the book at the NFF Secretariat in Abuja, Pinnick pointed out that Ekeji was a rare breed, to have successfully traversed the platforms of player, coach, teacher and administrator with astounding success.
“I am genuinely impressed by the remarkable work that Chief (Dr) Ekeji has come out with. You need to read the book to appreciate the depth of research and the efforts that went into putting words and pictures together.
“Odyssey Of A Green Eagle is written in very simple language and in story form, for all to enjoy. The accounts of how our own Chief (Dr) Ekeji rose from a secondary school player to the Senior National Team, and then became Coach, to lecturer and then through the ranks at the NSC to Director General, makes interesting reading and is recommended to all budding football players, aspiring coaches, dedicated teachers and ambitious administrators.”
The 185 –page book details Ekeji’s playing career from Holy Ghost College, Owerri, to St. George’s Catholic School, Falomo, to St. Gregory’s College, Obalende, to recruitment attempt into the Biafran Air Force, to stint with P&T Vasco da Gama Football Club and onto the Senior National Team.
He also talked about his education at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, to coaching education in Frankfurt, Germany, and then to the role of Coach of Green Eagles’ Coach in 1985, before coaching roles at UNTL FC of Kaduna and ACB FC of Lagos, and then onto service at the Imo State Sports Council and then to the National Sports Commission, where he served as Director General between 2009 and 2013.
Educative and informative, the book also detailed political intrigues at the NSC and the NFF, as well as contemporary issues in sports administration and reforms he engineered at the NSC and within the sports federations.