Super Eagles Miss Out as Top Candidate to Replace Peseiro Signs for Asian Minnows

Tom Saintfiet was in the running to replace Jose Peseiro as Super Eagles manager


Tom Saintfiet reportedly set to replace Jose Peseiro as Super Eagles manager

Super Eagles Miss Out as Top Candidate to Replace Peseiro Signs for Asian Minnows

Ayoola Kelechi 09:20 - 27.02.2024

The Ex-Gambia coach had been heavily linked with the Super Eagles job but decided against waiting for the opportunity to coach Nigeria

Belgian football coach Tom Saintfiet has embarked on yet another chapter in his diverse coaching career, taking up the position of head coach for the Philippines. This marks his 11th national team appointment, showcasing his extensive experience across Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean.

Saintfiet's Impressive Track Record

Saintfiet, 50, resigned from his role with Gambia in January after a successful tenure of five-and-a-half years. During his time with the West African nation, he achieved significant milestones by leading them to consecutive Africa Cup of Nations finals, including a quarter-final place in the 2021 tournament.

His coaching journey began with Namibia in 2008, and since then, he has taken charge of various national teams, including Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Yemen, Malawi, Togo, Bangladesh, Trinidad and Tobago, and Malta. Notably, he took on the Gambia role in 2018 and played a pivotal role in reviving the team, which had not won a competitive match for five years before his arrival.

Missed Opportunity with the Super Eagles

Saintfiet's name had surfaced as a top candidate for the Nigerian national team job, creating anticipation among football enthusiasts. The possibility of him replacing the current boss, Jose Peseiro, was actively discussed. However, Peseiro's commendable performance, leading Nigeria to the final of the 2023 AFCON (African Cup of Nations), played a role in the decision-making process.

Although Nigeria fell short in the final against hosts Ivory Coast, Peseiro's accomplishments reportedly earned him a new contract with the Super Eagles. Consequently, Saintfiet opted for the coaching role with the Philippines, showcasing his flexibility and readiness to embrace new challenges.

In a statement to Reuters, Saintfiet acknowledged the magnitude of his various national team roles, stating, "It is quite a lot. With Gambia, I recently reached my 100th official FIFA national team match, so I am looking forward to this next step."

While the Super Eagles miss out on Saintfiet's expertise, the football world continues to witness the intriguing journey of a coach who has left his mark across continents.