By Amaechi Agbo
The head coach of Government Day Secondary School, GDSS, Abaji, Abuja, has described the responsibility of coaching female football players at the grassroots as very challenging.
Mr Samson who stated that the job of coaching the young girls is exciting just as it is difficult considering their background, said he cherishes the challenge.
“Coaching ladies in football is one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life. I have taught for 14 years now and all the places I have worked as a teacher, I have been in sports. But this set of people, especially the ladies, are very difficult to coach. They have never had the experience but I like it”
Mr Samson who is also the Games Master of the GDSS and spoke with our correspondent after his ladies lost 1-2 to Government Secondary School, GSS, Kuje at the ongoing FCT Female Principals Cup, described the defeat as a sweet experience and stated that he was proud of his girls who he said were able to hold their own in big tournament.
He added that his young ladies had not participated in a high profile tournament of the Principals Cups magnitude stressing that being a school that was established barely a year ago, he could not had expected more from the girls.
“I am proud of my girls and myself. This is the first time these girls are coming out like this. They never got themselves in a competitive competition like this. We just have SS 1 and 2 and being a new school established just last year and at this level, I am very happy. At least the margin of the loss was not far, just 2-1. My girls did well.
“After this defeat, we are going to train harder and make sure that by the time the competition comes up next year, we will do better than this.
“The competition is on elimination basis; any loss kicks you out if it. So we have been eliminated,” he stated.
On his part, the coach of the winning side, Mr Bryan Bawa, who described his team’s victory as a step closer to the target, also believed that coaching the young ladies is a tedious job.
“Ladies are difficult to train but we have to understand that they are ladies and have to treat them with care. We have to make the environment conducive for them for training and make sure they follow instructions. You follow them like ladies and train them like ladies. We know they are not perfect but they have to put in efforts to get results.
“Our win over the GDSS Abaji is a step up. So we will go and plan for our next match,” the young gaffer stated.
As at Wednesday, November 22, 6 matches have been played in each of the centres – Area 3 Playground and Tunduwada Centre of the FCT Principals Cup
Schools have been taking the tournament seriously as there has been only one walk-over match between GGSS Abaji and GSS Haji Camp. The former walked over the latter. But according to officials, there is no penalty for any team that fails to turn up for its match as the tournament is meant to encourage school sports and women participation in sports.
An official, who spoke in confidence, said the idea of the female version of the Principals Cup in the FCT was to help the FCT FA select players for the FCT Women League as well as poll the players together for national scouting in terms of selecting players for the various female national teams.
The quarterfinals of the maiden edition of the Female Principals Cup started yesterday while semi-finals will be played today and finals on Friday, December 1. The female finals will be by 2pm while that of their male counterpart will kick off by 4pm.
The FCT FA has been the sponsor of the tournament in conjunction with the All Confederations of Principals of Secondary Schools, ANCOPSS.