Retro Corner – Samson fades after strong start


As starts go, Samson Siasia’s for Glory was nothing short of spectacular.

Just eight minutes into his debut at Perth Oval in October 1997, he met Ernie Tapai’s pinpoint free-kick with a magnificent diving header that gave Gary Marocchi’s men the lead against Adelaide City.

More than 17,000 fans rose as one to acclaim the apparent arrival of a new hero.

The visitors duly hit back with four goals of their own, however and in many ways, the nature of that dramatic fade out would prove to be an omen in terms of Siasia’s own one-season stay here in the West.

He arrived to great fanfare having represented Nigeria at the 1994 World Cup, helped his country win the Africa Cup of Nations that same year and been a part of the Nantes squad that stormed their way to the French Ligue 1 title in 1995.

And following his flying start for Glory, he added further goals against Melbourne Knights in Round 4 and UTS Olympic in Round 6, with the men in purple winning both of those games.

But after that… well, not much.

He failed to find the scoresheet again in any of his next 16 appearances that year as Glory fell six points short of the finals and come the end of the season, he jetted off to Israel to join Hapoel Holon.

Siasia duly hung up his boots in 2000 and has subsequently enjoyed a distinguished coaching career which has seen him take charge of Nigeria at Under-20, Under-23 and senior level and as recently as April of this year, he was strongly linked with the Cameroon job.

Samson Siasia coaching for Nigeria

As much as we’d love to know more about his future coaching plans, the stadium that has been named after him in Yenagoa Township and the season he spent playing for the splendidly-named Flash Flamingoes, however, it’s his time here in the West that we’re most interested in and we’re very keen to get your Siasia stories.

So if you have some memories you’d like to share, join the conversation on Facebook HERE or Twitter HERE.