New Zealand’s coach, Stephen Cain watched his wards blown off the park by an unstoppable Nigerian team in a 5-0 whitewash but he insisted that he remained proud of his team.
“I am imeensely proud of my team’s performance tonight. We’ve lost against a world-class team – they would have beaten any opposition this evening. It was a bridge too far for us.
They were too quick, too strong, too clever, with 11 men on the field, it was difficult. With 10 men, it was impossible. And they are a hell of a side,” Cain said immediately after the match.
Three goals in the first half and two more in the second, saw the hosts and defending champions coast to the biggest margin of victory so far in the tournament, and the New Zealand coach pointed out that the two early goals put paid to their pre-game tactical plans.
“We were a little unlucky with the first two goals, as they came from loose balls, although it must be said that they were quickest to them.
“Our plan was to hold them for at least the first half hour so that doubts would start to creep in, but after they’d scored two such early goals, it was an uphill struggle.
“They made full use of the pitch, used all the space and kept possession throughout. They were just too strong for us.
“But I’m proud of my players, and I’m convinced that they’ll emerge from this tournament as better players and better people.”
And he had no reservations about picking Nigeria to successfully defend their crown.
“I always thought they were the favourites. I never said so, because I don’t want to frighten my players. But yes, they are a great team. If anybody beats them, they’ll deserve to win this.”
Go Round FC Searches For Big Stars
Go Round FC’s coach, Ngozi Elechi has revealed that the club is in search of its next big star in the mould of Daniel Gotom and James Eronje.
Both players were top performers for the club in the first round of the just concluded Nigeria National League season before they travelled to Europe.
Elechi said while in training with the team that the coaches are on the lookout for players in their mould that will take the league by storm, though previously inexperienced in league football.
“James and Gotom had not played in the league before they joined Go Round FC last season. They came from academies and did so well for us.
“Those are the kinds of players we hope to discover in our open screening and that is why we decided to embark on this and leave the more experienced players out of the equation for now,” Elechi said.
Tens of players have been camped at the Krisdera Hotel Stadium for over a week, sweating it out and trying to impress the coaches.
“We are still training. We have our eyes on them and expect a lot more to join up within the coming days,” Elechi added.
“When we are done with this, we will now ask the old players of the team to return ahead of the start of the season, as well as those we scouted in the course of the last football season.”
Gure Community Youths Advice On Sporting Activities
The youths of Gure Community in Khana Local Government Area, in Rivers State has been advised to take the game of football as a career because it is now a lucrative business that has the capacity to turn around their fortunes.
Deputy Rector, Academics of Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic Rumuola Port Harcourt Dr Moses Neebee, gave the advice during a novelty football match in honour of Late Chief Benson Deezua, at the weekend at the Community School field, Gure.
He further expressed joy that youths in the community have taken the right part by involving themselves in sporting activities.
“ Well, our youth are on the right part because today sports is a lucrative business mostly football. I am also happy the honour given to late Chief Deezua by the community youth” Dr. Neebee said.
According to him, the community would hardly forget the late Chief following his contributions in bringing peace and unity.
“Late Chief played major role during the cult crises and stood by the community.
“ First I want to thank God because late chief Benson Deezua was a man we all should looked upon not only because I am his nephew but the role he play in the Community.
“ Infact, his life and time will hardly be forgotten by Gure Community because during crises in the community he stood by the community.
“ He lived a life worthy of emulation.
“ I pray to God to give us the strength that we need to start from where he stopped” he stated. .
By: Kiadum Edookor
Why We Dominate Sports In Nigeria – Delta Commissioner
The Delta State Commissioner for Information, Hon. Charles Aniagwu, has said that the State Governor Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa places priority on Sports development and formulates policies that will develop sports in the State.
He stated that the Government closed all schools in the State to discover talents and give equal academic opportunity to those who are participating at the ongoing National Sports Festival (NSF) and those that are not doing sports.
Hon. Aniagwu, made the assertion in a press briefing at the NSF holding in Asaba, on Monday, saying that Sports is an indigene of Delta State.
According to him, the reason why Delta State is dominating sports in Nigeria was because the government does not give any private school license to operate if the school does not have field for sporting activities.
“First when we came in, the governor made it clear that no license should be issued to private school that do not have field where students can do sporting activities.
“As I speak to you, all the secondary schools in Delta State have been closed to accommodate activities for this event because we have a good number of secondary students that are participating
After the Sports Festival, they will continue academic activities and we do not want a situation where some will be learning and some are doing sports, we want to give every student equal opportunity of academic activities, but I know they will to do their exams before Christmas” Hon. Aniagwu said.
By: Tonye Orabere In Asaba
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