Lawrence James Ekele: Football Coach With A Difference




One coach who has made a mark in his career in Nigeria as a football coach, is Benue born Coach Lawrence James Ekele.

He has done just not himself proud, but his state of origin and country.

Kick starting off his career at the prestigious National Institute for Sports (NIS) in Lagos Nigeria far back in 2011, he has gathered experience and recorded successes at several engagements since then.

Same 2011, he served Aspire Africa Football Dream as coordinator, before joining Heartland FC Owerri in 2012.

Based on his track records, he was engaged by Zamfara United FC Gusau in 2013, where he spent a year, before joining DSS FC Kaduna Nigeria in 2015.

Perhaps, DSS FC had a strong hold on him, as he spent five years with the team, before quitting in 2020.

While with DSS FC,  he  secured the first ever trophy for Nigeria from the World U-19 DANA Cup in Denmark, 

Coach Lawrence James Ekele based  on that feat, is still being sought by several teams in Europe and Asia.

As the Head Coach of Kaduna based Dynamic Sporting Solutions (DSS) Football Club, he trounced top football countries to reach the final of the DANA cup in 2016, where they went ahead to beat highly rated United States of America.  

That victory though painful for the Germans, but endeared the coach of the winning country, Nigeria to them and several teams from that country have since been after him to append his signature on a contract that would see him inspire their teams to victory.  

That this stroke of success came about just five years after he left the National Institute of Sports (NIS), Lagos, shows that besides what he learnt there, he actually had some in built coaching talent bottled up inside of him.  

The Idoma-born coach, shortly after his course at NIS was recruited as an intern in Heartland of Owerri in 2012.   

He joined the services of Zamfara United in 2013 and was there for a season as an assistant coach, before he moved to DSS as Head Coach in 2015.  

It would be recalled that in an exclusive chat after the DANA Cup victory, he told our reporter that winning the DANA Cup didn’t come without challenges.   

He explained that on arrival in Denmark, they barely rested before being handed down their match schedules.

  “As soon as we stepped into Denmark, we were given the matches fixture and we thrashed Germany 6-0 in our first match. Most times we didn’t rest at all, even playing two matches in a day,” he said.  

He further explained that as Africa’s only representatives at the competition, they did not just get an easy sail, but slugged it out in a qualifiers held in Togo, where they finished tops.  

Coach Ekele praised President of DSS FC, Chief Sunday Adeleye for single handedly bankrolling all their trips right from the qualifiers to securing travel visas and tickets to Denmark.

His career continued at Futures of Africa International Academy Kaduna Nigeria  in 2021, while his most recent stint was at Kebbi State Team Academy, from 2022 to 2023, which is being reviewed by the current administration in the state.


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