Ahead of departure for international outings to represent Africa at World U-18 and U-19 championships respectively, NIgeria’s teams have assured the continent of good representation.
Speaking at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium Kaduna where both teams are presently camping, Chairman Caretaker Committee of the NIgeria Volleyball Federation (NVBF), Engineer Musa Nimrod said he is confident about the quality of players to give results at both world competitions.
“Both teams are going for the world championship. The players are U-18 going to Mexico by end of September, U-19 going to Iran for world championship on August 19.
“They are vibrant in the next two years they would be ready to take on the world.
“You can see they are young boys and girls and would represent the country well.
“The coaches have put in their best. Sports not just Government, as federation we are doing our best to assist the government. We are desiring.
“The U-19 leaving on 19 August. No funds no official is going, they are only going with the coaches. The only resources available, we had to channel into the players and coaches. So far, we have finished all arrangements for the U-19.
“They were in Tunisia for U-19 world championship,” he said.
Nimrod explained that currently, NIgeria is leading Volleyball ranking in Africa, alongside Egypt, followed by Cameroon.
“NIgeria is strong and other countries are scared of us in Africa,” he said.
On the present players, he explained that the NVBF had to scout for them for from the zonal competition recently held across the country.
“We went down to the zones, put in resources and came up with brand new female U-18 players.
“I stand by the female U-18 players because we look forward to a brand new national team.
“A lot of them started from the National Youth Games. We are glad we stood our grounds that NYG should feature only U-15 and it has paid off,” he added.
He however, appealed to corporate organisations and public spirited individuals to come and support the teams.
“Even the tickets are expensive, none in cheap, with support, NIgeria will do better,” he added.
While fielding questions, Head Male U-19 coach, Sani Mohammed Musa said that as African champions, they are set to take on the world.
“We are African champions back-to-back so we hope to Surpass our 2019 record.
“We would leave on Thursday, for now our camp is good, no injuries, the children are disciplined, no cases of indiscipline,” he added.
He said that between 2019 and now, the coaches also Improved themselves and all the players are new, which is an added advantage to the teams.
Assist Coach female U-18, Rakiya Mohammed, said that they are prepared for the competition.
“We are very prepared for this tournament due to support given to us and early camping.
“We are not only representing NIgeria, but Africa and are morally sound.
“Seventy per cent of girls used during the nation’s cup are no longer here, we have groomed taller players that would give us better results,” she said.
Female captain U-18, Onyegwu Unoma Verity said that they have trained and prepared to make NIgeria and their parents proud.
“We have camped for over a month and are 100 per cent ready,” she assured.
Male Captain U-19, Jerry Baba Kinze was also optimistic of success.
“We are very prepared, we are topping Africa and I want to assure Nigerians that we would make them proud.
“Tension would surely come, but with the training we have received, we will overcome all tension,” he assured.