Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) secretary-general, Dr Mohammed Sanusi has reeled out the factors he believes will help the nation’s youth national team, Flying Eagles come tops in their forthcoming regional and continental outings.
Sanusi said during a visit to the team’s camp in Abuja that the players need dedication, determination and commitment to succeed, hence his charge to them to redouble their efforts in order to excel at the forthcoming West Africa Football Union (WAFU) U-20 Cup of Nations in Lome, Togo.
Sanusi added that the players will have to stay focused on and off the pitch, in order to realize their ambitions of making mark for themselves, their coaches, their fans, the country and their families.
The seven time African junior champions are presently shaping up for the WAFU tournament that is billed to hold from 6th to 16th December, as a preparatory competition for the 2019 African Youth Nations Cup in Niger Republic from 2nd to 17th February 2019.
To qualify for the finals in Niger Republic, Coach Paul Aigbogun’s side defeated Guinea Bissau in the first round of the qualification series before slaying Mauritania in the final round.
As the team enters the last phase of preparations for WAFU 2018, Sanusi also 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.
Sanusi added: “Discipline and dedication are very important values in whatever we do in life. It is not only learning that gets you the certificate.
“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.
“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.
“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.”