A 1990 Auckland, New Zealand Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Yusuf Alli, appealed to government to organise camps for athletes discovered at the 18th National Sports Festival in Lagos.
The festival, tagged “Eko 2012,” which held between November 27 and Dec. 9, was won by Delta with A total medal haul of 116 gold, 99 silver and 75.
Rivers was second with 76 gold medals, 71 silver and 70 bronze totalling 217, while hosts, Lagos State, placed third with 64 gold, 47 silver and 71 bronze, totalling 182 medals.
Alli, reputed for long jump, told newsmen in Lagos that organising camps for the talents was the only way to develop them.
He said that one of the factors that contributed to Nigeria’s excellent performances in the 1980s was discovering, nurturing and encouraging new talents.
“The same system that discovered the Mary Onyalis, the Yusuf Allis still exists, if the government will do the right thing for these athletes.
“Others that have been discovered in the past, where are they now?
“In our era, after athletes were discovered, they were kept in camps and trained by American coaches. We had different camps in Lagos, Ife, etc,’’ he recalled.
Alli noted that at least two or three athletes discovered should be assigned to a coach, to ensure that they were nurtured to stardom.
Alli He said that the essence of the National Sports Festival would not be realised if states did not bring raw athletes to the biennial event.
“Most states have stopped training athletes, all they do is to buy them over. Now that the festival may be made open, every state will now have to train its athletes.
“If other states can emulate Lagos State, the objective of the Games which is talent discovery and promoting unity could be achieved again,’’ he added.
CAF CL: Why Akwa United Struggled Against CR Belouizdad
Coach Kennedy Boboye admitted that Akwa United failed in their bid to replace the players that left the club.
Boboye revealed this in his post match confe-rence after Akwa United kick-started their 2021-2022 CAF Champions League campaign with a 1-0 win over CR Belouizdad of Algeria on Sunday.
The Promise Keepers lost influential stars like Charles Atshimene and Olisa Ndah to CD Feirense of Portugal and Orlando Pirates of South Africa respectively earlier this month.
Recall that Ndah and Atshimene played key role in Akwa United’s NPFL title victory and Boboye admitted that the club was unable to bring in replacement.
He said: “This is what we have gotten. Most of the players we tried to get did not come.”
“We can’t stop players from travelling. It is unfortunate that we started the tournament very early.”
“We have not been able to play together for a long time. By the time we surpass this stage, we would be better than before,” he said.
Remo Stars To Appoint Ogunbote Head Coach
Nigeria Professional Football League New Boys, Remo Stars are on the verge of appointing Gbenga Ogunbote as their new coach.
Reports revealed that Remo Stars manage-ment will appoint the former Enyimba and Sunshine Stars boss to take over the reign from Daniel Ogunbodede who tutored the team last season.
Ogunbote was spot-ted with the Ikenne-based club during the just concluded NNL Super 8 in Enugu.
The club is set to announce the mana-gerial change in the coming days, but nothing has been heard, concerning the future of Daniel Ogunbodede.
Ogunbodede helped Remo Stars seal their return to the elite division after finishing second in NNL playoff in Group A.
CAFCL: Eguma Warns Players Against Complacency
Rivers United Coach, Stanley Eguma, has warned his players against comp-lacency ahead of their CAF Champions Lea-gue second leg prelimi-nary game against Young Africans.
The Pride of Rivers defeated the Tanzanian side 1-0 at the Benjamin Mkapa Nat-ional Stadium on Sunday.
Samuel Omodumuke scored the winning goal for the visitors in the 52nd minute to give the Eguma’s side advant-age of going to the next game.
The return leg will take place next week Sunday at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt.
Speaking ahead of the second meeting, Eguma hinted that his players need to forget about the first leg result and approach the second leg with all seriousness.
“They are a good side and have mobile players.
“We need to have the right mentality when we play them at home, we must not relent and fight as if we have not played the first leg.
“We must put in everything in the second leg, that is going to be our approach.”
“The players need to rise to the occasion to ensure that we seal the qualification,” he said.
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