By Albert Akota
The General Secretary of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Dr. Mohammed Sanusi has challenged players of the U20 National Team, Flying Eagles to imbibe the virtues of discipline, dedication and commitment as they prepare for the upcoming WAFU U20 Tournament in Lome and the Africa U20 Cup of Nations in Niger Republic.
Speaking while he visited the team at training in Abuja over the weekend, the NFF scribe also urged the players to be humble at all times in order to drink from the fountain of knowledge and wisdom of their coaches.
“Discipline and dedication are very important values in whatever we do in life. For those of us who came from the academia, we know that the certificate that you are given on graduation tells you that you have been found worthy in character and in learning. It is not only learning that gets you the certificate.
“Character is key in whatever we do, and character is developed through your discipline, dedication and commitment to the cause you have chosen. The founding father of modern Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, stated that the most important thing about the Olympics is not in winning, but in participating.”
Sanusi charged the players to heed the words and teaching of their coaches, and to eschew social vices as they seek an ethical route to fame and fortune.
“As a teacher, a licensed coach and an administrator, I care more about your character more than your output on the field. At the end of the day, the player with good character is always very different and lasts much longer than the one that lacks good character.
“Be humble, disciplined and dedicated, and you would be surprised how easy you overcome all the hurdles before you.”
The Flying Eagles, seven –time African champions are presently shaping up for the WAFU U20 Cup Tournament taking place in Lome, Togo 6th – 16th December a preparatory competition for the 2019 Africa U20 Cup of Nations coming up in Niger Republic 2nd 17th February 2019.
To qualify for the finals in Niger Republic, the wards of Aigbogun defeated Guinea Bissau in the first round of the qualification series before slaying Mauritania in the final round of the series.