By Albert Akota
A trio of university dons yesterday challenged players of the Super Falcons and the Golden Eaglets to make hard work, patriotism, focus, dedication and fearlessness their watchwords, while discountenancing all events and situations that could discourage them in their various national assignments.
At a seminar organized by the Nigeria Football Federation, at Serob Legacy Hotel, Abuja, with the theme ‘Nationalism and Patriotism’, Professor Florence Adeyanju of the Department of Human Kinetics and Health Education of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria urged the Falcons and the Eaglets to always take pride in being selected to represent a country of about 190 million people, and have no fear of any team whenever they get to the field of play.
“Success favours only the bold. You don’t have to fear any player or team when you get to the field of play. Remember the country you are representing and be psychologically motivated that you cannot lose, that you are a champion already. Be full of positive thinking all the time,” she added.
On her part, Dr. Odunola Bello of the University of Maiduguri spoke on nationalism and patriotism, underscoring the need for players and officials to note allegiance to the nation at all times and display sense of communal spirit, tolerance, dedication and discipline in all that they do.
Professor Mariam Suleiman, who is Head of Department of Health Education and Human Kinetics, Ahmadu Bello University spoke on career guidance, charging the players to think of life after football and plan well for same. “You are active and agile now, but after you must have reached your peak, you would no longer be that agile. What will you do after football? You should endeavour to seek relevant qualifications in such areas that you have flair. You should develop yourself so that you can remain relevant after football.”
General Secretary of the Nigeria Football Federation, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, who was chairman of the occasion, charged the players of the two teams to take the lessons from the seminar to heart in order to be better players and better individuals going forward.
Also at the seminar were Mr. Bola Oyeyode (NFF Director of Competitions); Mr. Ademola Olajire (Director of Communications); Mr. Ali Muhammad (Deputy Director, Competitions); Mr. Abdulrafiu Yusuf (Assistant Director, Technical); Miss Ruth David (Head of Women Football); Dr. Robinson Okosun (Assistant Director, Technical) and; Coaches Thomas Dennerby of the Super Falcons and Manu Garba of the Golden Eaglets.