Emanuel Saakai

Founder, CEO and Head Coach
Lengo Football Academy Tanzania and Australia

Our purpose is to create pathways for disadvantaged youth in Tanzania, Australia and Oceania to score goals on and off the football field.

Emanuel Saakai


Emanuel’s purpose is to provide football players and communities in need the football and life opportunities he lacked during his own childhood.
Growing up in a Maasai village on the outskirts of Arusha, Tanzania in extreme poverty, he was forced to leave school and work for less than $1 a day. Against the odds he continued to play football throughout his youth and due to his financial situation, his football playing career ended when he was seriously injured and couldn't afford medical treatment.


This life changing event in his early 20’s enabled him to realise his passion – coaching football.

He is a natural talented football coach with over 10 years’ experience coaching, mentoring and motivating football teams in Tanzania, Australia and Europe. He holds coaching qualifications with FFA (Australia) and AFC (Asia) and has attended the Manchester City FC, FC Barcelona, Ajax FC and Cardiff City FC Career Professional Development Training.

His football coaching highlights include working with Harry Kewell, Juventus Academy and also he worked with the legendary FC Barcelona through their FCBEscola (school), running their outreach football clinics in Australia. Founding his own academy in 2012, Emanuel is the CEO and Head Coach of the global not-for-profit organisation, Lengo Football Academy and has an ever expanding network of many professional relationships with key football stakeholders worldwide.

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Emanuel Saakai

He has represented and work very closely with Football Federation Tanzania, Football Federation Australia, New Zealand Football and Oceania Football Confederation (OFC). During the 2018 World Cup celebrations, Emanuel led the delegations from 12 countries to Moscow, Russia to take a part in the Football for Friendship international tournament among other 211 countries and regions from all over the world. During this time, he received a special recognition award for his work in changing the world through football.

Emanuel is currently employed by the large Not-For-Profit organisations, Spectrum in Victoria, Australia delivering quality football programs under privileged youth. He has successfully created and developed a competitive elite football team for refugee and migrant under 25 youth from all over the world who now call Australia their new home.


Emanuel is a motivational and keynote speaker and has spoken at many schools, academies, clubs, businesses, national and international conferences in Australia, Africa and Europe.

Emanuel Saakai has the knowledge, passion, life experience and insight that makes him a very successful football coach, intermediary, scout, analyst and social entrepreneur.