Former Rivers United captain, Festus Austin, says had to make the tough call of quitting active football after battling with an injury over the past four year.
The newly appointed team coordinator who played for 16 years in the Nigeria Professional Football League, called it quits, having won two league titles with Dolphins and Rivers United.
Following his retirement, Rivers announced him as their team coordinator on Monday and also named striker Nyima Nwagua as the new captain of the club.
A statement read; “We are delighted to announce that Festus Austin has been appointed our new team coordinator. Austin, a dedicated solid centre-back during his active days, assumes the new role ahead of the new season, having served dutifully as our captain. We wish Festus Austin every success”.
Speaking on his new job, Austin told PUNCH Sports Extra; “It’s a thing of joy when you work and people appreciate you. Although it was difficult for me to say goodbye to football professionally, and then crowning my effort with an appointment is a perfect reward. I am happy about it.
“I broke my leg three times and it’s the same leg. My doctor advised me that I should be on the safer side to avoid another one because it would be difficult to get out of it, so I decided to stay away from the game.”
Austin joined the defunct Dolphins of Port Harcourt in 2009 from Bendel Insurance and was part of the team that was merged with local rivals, Sharks FC of Port Harcourt, to form Rivers United in 2016.
Having won his first league title with Dolphins in 2010/11 season, Austin led Rivers to another title in 2022, although injury didn’t allow him to enjoy that season.
He was also in the squad that reached the quarter-finals of the CAF Confederation Cup and also missed out on the NPFL title last season.