Rivers United part ways with Stanley Eguma after 8 years in charge

Nigeria Premier Football League side Rivers United have officially announced the departure of Stanley Eguma as the technical manager of the club.

Eguma, who has been with the club since 2016, has been embroiled in several controversies and has been in and out of the team recently.

Despite rumors of his sack in the last few months, the club did not put out an official statement addressing these rumors. However, this time, they have decided to make it official and part ways with the 54-year-old.

In a club statement released on their official X account (formerly known as Twitter), the club said they have now parted ways with Eguma.

“The Management of Rivers United Football Club officially announces the termination of Coach Stanley Eguma's appointment as Technical Manager of the Club.

Subsequently, Coach Evans Ogenyi, the club's Chief Coach, has been appointed in an acting capacity as the head coach of the Club until the end of the 2023/2024 Nigeria Premier Football League Season.

The decision is in pursuit of a new direction aimed at achieving the objectives and goals of the club.

However, we convey our gratitude to Coach Eguma for his services to the club and wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”

Stanley Eguma at Rivers United

Eguma—nicknamed ‘Capello' after famous Italian coach Fabio Capello—led Rivers United to their first ever Nigeria Premier Football League title in 2022.

He also led the team to second place finishes in the 2016 and 2020 seasons, their first in the NPFL after Rivers State Government merged Sharks FC and Dolphins FC to form what’s today known as Rivers United FC.

Lately, Eguma’s time at Rivers United has been tumultuous, with the coach being asked to step aside at a point in time. Other feelers were that he was on sick leave and would return.

In Rivers United's away game at Lafia, he was available but sat in the stands as Evans Ogenyi took charge on the sidelines.

The 54-year-old was then tasked with winning the NPFL away game in Ikenne in May, but Rivers lost that game 2-1, signaling the end for the long-serving coach.

However, Rivers United did not officially state if he was sacked or not but have now decided to terminate his contract.

Rivers United
Photo by Icon Sport

Rivers United this season

The Port-Harcourt side are currently in 8th place on the NPFL table with 47 points.

They also had a relatively good run in the CAF Confederation Cup after dropping down from the CAF Champions League.

Rivers United came second in the CAF Confederation Cup group behind Dreams FC of Ghana and qualified for the quarter-final.

After a 1-0 win against Algerian side USM Alger in the first leg of the quarter-final in Uyo, they succumbed to a 2-0 loss in the return leg to exit the competition.

Life after Eguma for Rivers United

Rivers United will officially start life without Stanley Eguma when they face perennial rivals Enyimba on Matchday 34 of the NPFL.

The club's management and fans are looking forward to seeing how Coach Evans Ogenyi will steer the team through the remainder of the season.

With a new direction and goals in place, Rivers United aim to improve their standing on the NPFL table and continue their strong performance in domestic and continental competitions.

Rivers United defeat USM Alger in CAF Confederation Cup
Photo by X

 Reflections on Eguma’s tenure

Stanley Eguma’s departure marks the end of an era for Rivers United. His leadership saw the club rise to prominence, achieving significant milestones and creating memorable moments for the fans.

Despite the controversies and challenges, Eguma's contributions to the club’s successes, including the NPFL title and strong performances in various seasons, will be remembered.

Rivers have now reportedly set their sights on former U-23 coach Imama Amapakabo as their new gaffer for next season.

Rivers United part ways with Stanley Eguma after 8 years in charge
Andrew Randa

Andrew Randa is a veteran Nigerian sports journalist with over 20 years of experience covering the beautiful game across Africa. Andrew served as a Media Officer for Nigeria's U-20 Men's National Team for three years, offering a unique perspective on the future stars of Nigerian football.

Beyond reporting, Andrew is a pioneer in sports graphics creation within Nigeria. His expertise extends to sports kit design, making him a true multi-faceted talent in the African sports landscape.

Andrew's experience is vast, with collaborations encompassing prestigious names like Kickoff, SuperSport, the NFF (Nigeria Football Federation), and the NPFL (Nigeria Professional Football League)