A former Green Eagles player, Adokiye Amiesimaka, has called for the setting up of a well-structured football development programme that will capture youths from eight years old to 19.
He said in an interview with newsmen in Lagos last Wednesday that doing so would ensure grassroots development of the game and enable the country’s national teams to perform creditably at global competitions.
Amiesimaka was speaking against the backdrop of Nigeria’s exit from the ongoing 2018 Russia World Cup after the Super Eagles’1 – 2 loss to Argentina.
“The players did their best, but until we start from the basics, until we have a structured process of youth football development, we will not do better than we have been doing overtime.
“We need to set up a youth development programme that will enable us to catch players young especially in their formative years, from the ages of eight to 17.
“Until we go back to the basics of a structured programme we cannot develop and be consistent.
“And the structured development programme is in phases – from Under 12, to Under 15, Under 17, Under 19, then to the senior level.
“That is how it is done.’’
The former attacking winger praised the Super Eagles for a brave performance against their perennial adversary, Argentina, at the World Cup, but said that the team lacked the extra punch to upset the two-time World Champions.
Tidesports source gathered that the Super Eagles were five minutes away from pulling off a 1-1 draw, which would have been enough to qualify Nigeria for the Round of 16.
Unfortunately the Argentines were able to earn the win they needed to qualify for the Round of 16 ahead of Nigeria, who finished third in the group with three points after losing two matches (to Croatia and Argentina) and winning one (against Iceland).
Argentina earned four points at the group stage having won one match (against Nigeria), drawn one (against Iceland) and lost one (to Croatia).
Athletics: Okagbare Begins Preparation For Tokyo 2020
Blessing Okagbare, yesterday started her preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at the National Trials.
The opening day of the Tokyo 2020 National Trials will see Okagbare competing in the 100m against highly rated Grace Nwokocha
Okagbare, the 8th time national champions is the favourite to win the event again, but Grace Nwokocha remains one of her biggest threats.
The American-based track queen won the championship from 2009 to 2014 and returned to win the 2016 edition after missing out in 2015.
Despite her qualification for the Olympics, Okagbare will be hoping to continue her winning streak and go to the Olympics in high spirits.
Apart from the 100m finals expected to take place in the afternoon, there will be shotput men final with all eyes on Chukwuebuka Enekwechi.
LAA Holds Lucrative Track Meet, Next Week
The Lagos State Athletics Association has announced it would be holding a lucrative Athletics Meet on Thursday, June 24, 2021, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Yussuf Alli, who is the Meet Director for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship, made the disclosure on Wednes-day even as he revealed that arrangements were in top gear to have an elite cast of athletes in the one-day meet.
According to Alli, the Lagos Open Athletics Championship will simultaneously serve as a qualifying window for the Tokyo Olympics as well as a preparatory event for athletes that have already qualified for the sporting showpiece.
“This is another fantastic window for those seeking to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics as well as those seeking quality competition to stay in shape for the Olympics,” Alli said.
“The Lagos State Athletics Association, which is one of the most vibrant in the country, is out to organise a world-class event that would be the talk of the town as we count down to Tokyo,” he added.
The list of events to be competed for at the Lagos Open Athletics Championship include, the 5,000 meters, 400 meters hurdles, 100 meters, 800 meters, 400 meters and 100 meters.
There would also be quality action in the 4×100 meters open, 4×100 meters open and 4×400 meters mixed relay.
Long jump, High jump, Triple jump, Shot put as well as 4×100 secondary schools relay and 4×100 secondary schools relay have all been pencilled down for the maiden Lagos Open Athletics Champion-ship.
Organisers have assured that the top three finishers across all the events will receive handsome prizes for their efforts.
S’ Falcons Bow To World Champions
The Super Falcons of Nigeria lost 2-0 to world champions, USA, in their final Group game at the 2021 Summer Series in Texas, USA.
The result means the African champions failed to win any of their three matches at the invitational tourna-ment, drawing one and losing the other two.
Kristen Press gave the Americans the lead on the stroke of half time, and before Lyn Williams killed Falcons hope of getting a draw with the second goal on the dot of 90 minutes.
With the victory, the world number one has now gone 42 games without tasting a defeat .As for the Falcons, the aim of participating in the Summer Series was to prepare them for a crucial 2022 African Women’s Champion-ship eliminator against perennial rivals, Ghana in October.
The African Women’s Championship will serve as qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
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