By Amaechi Agbo
Chairman of Abia Warriors Football Club of Umuahia, Chief Emeka Inyama says the future of the club belongs to the team’s U-13 and U-15 teams currently being packaged in the club’s academy.
Chief Inyama made the assertion during an interaction with parents of the academy boys at the club’s Secretariat in Umuahia.
He noted the parents that Abia Warrriors have always believed in the potentials of the youths which enabled the likes of Chisom Chikatara, Michael Olaha, Ndifreke Effiong, Shedrack Asiegbu and Ozioma Goodluck to explode in Nigeria’s top flight using Abia Warriors as a pedestal.
The Chairman, who was represented by the Club Secretary, Oliver Ndife, told the parents that the club would ensure that the boys combined their football careers with education in order to be better citizens in future.
He commended the parents for allowing their children to be part of Abia Warriors history and assured that they will never regret it as many of the young boys will gradually be infused into the main team as they progressed.
Also speaking, the Special Assistant to the Abia State Governor on Sports, Rev Obioma Onyeaghala commended Abia Warriors FC for the opportunity given the young boys to showcase their talents and urged the parents to assist the club in this onerous assignment by properly equipping and kitting their wards as a way of developing their professional mentality.
On his own, the Coordinator of the Abia Warriors U-13 and U-15 football academy, Mr Patrick Ngwaogu said the team “decided to float the academy as a way of giving back to the society for their support” adding that the “40 boys that currently make up the academy were chosen from about 150 who attended a screening exercise in Umuahia.”
Mr Ngwaogu, who is also Abia Warriors Match Reader, revealed that plans were underway to officially unveil the academy boys and told the parents that their wards would be engaged in more intensive training exercise while those of who distinguished themselves stand a chance of gaining full scholarship from the club.
Speaking on behalf of the parents, Chief Otisi Ndubuisi, commended the management of Abia Warriors for the innovation to establish an academy in order to catch them young and prayed that both the intentions of the club and the parents would be met in future.