Seun Betiku ‘s Achievement With Sunshine Stars Speaks Volumes

The name Seun Betiku rings a bell. Grown from being a former player, a shot-stopper to be precise in the domestic league to Team Manager, having learned from past result-oriented administrators who have managed Ondo football at the top level, Betiku ranks among the top team managers in the Nigeria Premier Football League.

Seun Betiku

Changing the narrative at Sunshine Stars by maintaining professional standards at all times would naturally attract criticism, and it’s challenging to say positive things about Betiku, as his criticisms are often opinion-based and come from a fraction of people who thrive on a ‘Bring-him-down’ syndrome. Football is not just football for Betiku, but adds player management to it, leading numerous players to fulfill their full potential at both Sunshine Stars and the women’s team Sunshine Queens. Filled with energy and positive vibes, Betiku is a goal-getter, very articulate, an assertive communicator, and full of excitement, and nothing beats him than ensuring players’ welfare is paramount.

For critics to digest and have a know of Betiku, who started his football sojourn with Kogi United in 2006 while a student at the Kogi State University. It was Coach Raymond Ogosi of blessed memory who discovered and encouraged him to join the University team where he was noticed and asked to join Kogi United. He became a professional footballer after completing his education and joined Rising Stars FC in 2009.
He made history in the 2014/15 football season by playing for three clubs in a single season due to his qualities. He started the season with Sunshine Stars and by Week 9, he joined Remo Stars when Bode Awakan was in charge.

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He then joined C.O.D FC by mid-season.
While a professional footballer, Betiku was also learning football administration due to his closeness and the wonderful working relationships he has with the leadership of the clubs he played for.
After his sojourn outside his state, Betiku returned to Akure in 2016 to play for Sunshine Stars. It was there he was exposed to proper football management, even as a player.
He had the opportunity to work closely with veterans like Akin Akinbobola, Mike Idoko, and Chief Segun Adagunodo.

He was able to study how these administrators managed club football, the affairs of players, and preparing the team for matches and was inspired by that.
He decided from them, to toe the same path. It will be recalled that Sunshine Stars were so formidable that they qualified for continental football for two seasons, and reached the semi-finals of the CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup. Then they had Akin Akinbobola and it was under him Sunshine Stars missed the league title by a point on the final day. Betiku retired from active football in 2017 due to a terrible shoulder injury.

Seun Betiku

He was lucky to get instant exposure to football administration with his appointment as Team Manager of Rising Stars FC for the 2017/2018 NLO season.
He tinkered with the team to reach the promotion playoffs in Makurdi where they lost to Kwara Football Academy. The team reached another playoff the following season and they lost the chance to be promoted to the NNL to Ajiroba Ooni FC on goal difference. Having done tremendously well with Rising Stars, the young Betiku was drafted to Sunshine Queens the following season.

He was able to make a significant impact on Sunshine Queens with the experience he gathered as a player and from his previous assignment at Rising Stars. His style of administration was all-inclusive with transparency and honesty. It was easy for Betiku to identify the need for players to read their minds and know what they wanted at the right time the same route as a player.

He prioritized the welfare of his players and made sure they were in good mental and physical condition at all times. He sees the players as soldiers and tools needed to succeed as an administrator. That has helped him so well to achieve tremendous success.

He worked with Coach Mathew Wemimo as Technical Adviser of Sunshine Queens in the 2020/2021 NWFL season and the team qualified for the championship Super Six playoffs for the first time in 15 years. With his administrative acumen, Betiku was able to inspire Sunshine Queens to turn the surprise package of playoffs from being tagged as an underdog ahead of the playoffs ending the playoffs with just two points behind eventual winners, Rivers Angels.

It was then he caught the attention of Governor Aiyedatiwa who was then the Deputy Governor of Ondo State.
According to Betiku, Governor Aiyedatiwa has been a passionate lover of sports and Betiku ensured the NWFL board invited the then deputy Governor for the finals and honoured him with an award. It was Betiku’s exploits with the Queens that convinced the State Government to appoint him as Team Manager of Sunshine Stars.

As Team Manager of the Owena Whales under Hon. Aiyedatiwa who was the chairman of the Interim Management Committee of Sunshine Stars under the late Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, the club ended the 2021/2022 season 11th haven lost the final day fixture to Remo Stars. The following season was another significant one for Sunshine Stars under Betiku. The team participated in an abridged league where they were paired with the big boys in the league.

With his expertise and support from the then Commissioner for Sports, Honorable Bamidele Ologun, Sunshine Stars finished third in that group and qualified for the championship playoffs in Lagos. He introduced the club’s anthem which was admired by all and sundry and has become the club’s identity to date.

Just as he did with Sunshine Queens, Betiku changed the narratives with Sunshine Stars at the playoffs by finishing fourth ahead of Insurance FC and Lobi Stars who were rated as favourites to win the playoffs. They missed the chance to seal a place in the continent no thanks to their heavy 3-0 defeat to eventual champions, Enyimba.

It is noteworthy that Betiku deserves his flowers as one of the youngest and best sports administrators who has managed various cadres of football and made a significant impact at various levels.

He will also be remembered for his laudable imprints and unwavering commitment to making sure Sunshine Stars remain one of the most celebrated and recognized clubs in Nigeria club football.