Ex-Eagles midfielder, Olofinjana bags job in Swiss club

A former Super Eagles midfielder, Seyi Olofinjana has been named the technical director at Switzerland’s most successful club, Grasshopper Zurich.

With the appointment, the 40-year-old will oversee the football department at the newly-promoted Super League outfit just as he will immediately find the right candidate to fill the ‘position of the head coach’ .

Olofinjana was snapped up from English Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers, where he was most recently loan-manager and had previously worked in various roles.

“This an important role and I look forward to working together with the amazing people at Grasshopper to hopefully steer this massive club in the right direction,” Olofinjana told BBC Sport Africa, after beating off stiff competition from other top applicants.

“A club as decorated and influential as Grasshopper deserves stability and we need to find the right ways of restoring its lost football glory.”

Olofinjana, who holds two master’s degrees as a sports director and project manager, has inherited a club keen to bounce back from the humiliating lows of 2019 when it suffered relegation from the Swiss top flight for the first time in 68 years.

He becomes the latest African to hold the technical director position in Europe after compatriot Michael Emenalo held similar roles at English side Chelsea and French club Monaco.

After two years in the Swiss Challenge League (second tier), the Hoppers sealed promotion last week and the Nigerian insists they are back where they truly belong.

“The history of the club and incredible fanbase clearly reflects a side that deserves better,” he added.

“It is our collective job to set this team in the right direction and among the elite clubs competing for success.”

Olofinjana started his career at Crown FC of Ogbomoso in his native Nigeria, before a stint in the country’s topflight with Kwara United led to a summer 2004 switch to Wolves via Norwegian club Brann Bergen.

He spent four years at Wolves before moving to Stoke City in July 2008 and after a season he joined rivals Hull City for £3m in August 2019.

Stints at Cardiff City and Sheffield Wednesday in England followed before ending his European career where it all began in Norway this time with IK Start.

Olofinjana made over 50 appearances for Nigeria and represented the Super Eagles in three Africa Cup of Nations in 2004, 2008 and when they finished third in 2010.

Credit BBC/sports/africa

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