Following her nomination as one of ten coaches in contention for The Best FIFA Women’s Coach 2017 award, Florence Omagbemi is highly motivated to work harder and achieve more as a coach.
Although her spell with the Nigeria women’s national team has come to an end, her exploits with the side at the 2016 Africa Women Cup of Nations has been duly recognized by FIFA – through its panel of women’s football experts.
Omagbemi led the Super Falcons to an unprecedented eighth African title in Cameroon last December, thereby becoming the first woman to win the title as a player and as a coach. But her post has been declared vacant by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
And considering that she lost her 15-year-old son only two months ago, her nomination for the prestigious award means so much more.
“I don’t even know how to express it other than to say thank you to God because I know this is a divine favour from above and I believe one with God is majority because we all have been through a lot with our personal lives, families and all kinds of stuff, so getting this nomination from FIFA is a big upliftment for me. Like what have been passing through because of my son that was killed recently – I don’t want to bring that picture into it – but getting this news is a big upliftment for me,” the former Super Falcons captain told LadiesMarch.
While speaking to LadiesMarch from her base in the United States, Omagbemi’s phone would not stop buzzing with calls coming in alongside congratulatory messages. As a result, the joy she felt could be heard in her voice.
“I just want to thank everybody for their support. I can see the love pouring in from Nigeria and the media and people congratulating me. It gives me the mindset to continue to work harder in this position as a coach having played for years with the Nigerian team.
“Even when I was with the Falcons I tried to put in my best because I know I have a long way to go with this. You know all through my years with the Falcons I was the captain, the leader, and with my contributions on and off the field I believe God up there sees my own effort. I give him all the glory,” Omagbemi enthused.
Also in contention for The Best FIFA Women’s Coach 2017 award are; Sarina Wiegman, who two weeks ago led the Netherlands to their first ever UEFA Women’s EURO crown; Nils Nielsen, whose Danish side finished as runners-up in the European championships; not forgetting Coach of UEFA Women’s Champions League winners Olympique Lyonnais Feminin, Gerard Precheur.
Others include; Dominik Thalhammer (Austria national team), Olivier Echouafni (French national team), Emma Hayes (Chelsea Ladies), Ralf Kellermann (VfL Wolfsburg), Xavi Llorens (FC Barcelona Femeni), and Hwang Yong-Bong (Korea DPR U-20 national team).
The winner will be chosen by a process involving national team coaches, captains, selected media and the fans. For the fans, voting starts on Monday 21 August (today) on FIFA.com and closes on 7 September.
The final list of three nominees will be announced in mid-September, while the winner will be awarded at a ceremony in London on Monday 23 October.