FEATURE ARTICLE

Cyril C. NwokejiSunday, January 10, 2016
cyril.nwokeji@wol.be
Belgium

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CONGRATULATIONS TO THE COACH SAMSON SIASIA - TUTORED UNDER-23 SIDE

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et me start by wishing my numerous and illustrious readers, a very pleasant, happy and very fulfilling 2016; may the almighty God, fulfil our hearts' desires, in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen!

The success of the Coach Samson Sia Sia - tutored under-23 side, at the recently concluded African Under -23 cup of Nations competition, is already known to all and sundry.

The writers seizes this opportunity, to say a big congratulations to the team and their handlers, for a job well done! They should continuously keep in their heads, the fact that the journey, is half done. The other important part of the journey, is the main 'business,' at the Rio Olympic games. The boys and their handlers, should not rest on their oars, until the Olympic games gold medal, is won for Nigeria! Yours sincerely, believes, this is achievable, given the talent, ambition, desire, determination, yes rugged determination, which usually characterise Nigeria's team's performances at competitions. This is what yours sincerely, calls the "Nigerian fighting spirit," or rather the "Nigerian spirit."

Talking about the "Nigerian spirit," the under-23 team and their handlers, showed lots of it, in the period leading up to the under-23 championship, and during the under-23 championship.

The team was apparently, 'neglected ,' by the NFF, during their preparations for the competition. When coach Samson Sia Sia, dared open his mouth to complain, the NFF, tried to shut it up, with a query! A then seemingly helpless, Coach Sia Sia, told Nigerians, he should not be blamed for an eventual loss of the Olympic ticket. To further compound matters, his beloved mother, was kidnapped, before the start of the championship. This no doubt affected his concentration; at that point in time, yours sincerely, feared for Nigeria's success, at the championship. But like the true Samson, the Nigerian coach is, he trudged on, with his gallant boys, despite all the obstacles and not only won the Olympic ticket, but also the African title! This is certainly, praise worthy, and a classical example of the huge triumph of the "Nigerian spirit," paradoxically, against "Nigerian odds! "Once again, a big congrats to those gallant boys and their handlers, they are certainly Nigerian heroes and should be celebrated!

Talking about the "Nigerian odds," placed on the path of the team, paradoxically, by the NFF, yours sincerely, uses this medium, to appeal to the NFF, to always live up to it's responsibilities, to the country's various soccer teams. The concentration should not be mainly on the Super Eagles. The Pinnick Amaju -led NFF, are no doubt, doing their level best for Nigerian soccer, but slip-ups like what happened during the preparatory phase of the African under-23 championship, should be avoided in the future! Nowadays, good preparations, for a soccer competition, is the absolute minimum, required for success. Most countries nowadays, do not leave any stone unturned, in this regard; when a team goes to a tournament unprepared, that team, on paper, has no chance of success. The unlikely success of the under-23 team, at the tournament, in Senegal, which to yours truly, can be considerd an "aberration," considering the circumstances of their preparation, should certainly not be used as a standard for preparing any Nigerian team to any competition, any more! It should be seen as an aberration, and should not be allowed to repeat itself again!!!!!!

On a final note, the year 2015, was indeed a very good one for Nigerian soccer; what with the huge successes recorded by the country's teams. One hopes this pattern of success would continue, in 2016, given the daunting challenges facing the country's various teams!

Nigeria, is no doubt, richly blessed in soccer; with very good soccer administration, the country will certainly reach for the stars. One sincerely hopes and prays that the Amaju Pinnick-led NFF, will make a significant contribution, in this regard; one must however, confess that thus far, in the life of the present NFF administration, the omens appear bright for Nigeria .

Iseeeeeeh!!!!!!

UP COACH SAMSON SIA SIA!; UP THE DREAM TEAM!!; UP NFF!!!; UP NIGERIA!!!!!!!!!

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