Good morning everyone,
Finally, the long month of January with her 31+ days are over and as always, a short, precise and direct February is already installed and running.
In the Nigerian football sphere, players have heaved a sigh of relief as they no longer have to play 3 games in every 8 days. Maybe that was why it told on our team in the manner of injuries, just maybe. They’ll get a longer recovery time and those 48 hours road trip csm be made and matches will still be played as scheduled.
In the light of this, we want to talk about some group we haven’t really looked into due to the busy opening weeks of the NPFL, the CHAN Eagles team.
It’s no news that we have a strong 21.7% representation in the team in Morocco with all but one of our players featuring in at least one game. We have gotten to see out new acquisitions, Ezenwa and Oladapo, put in impressive displays so far too but our emphasis is on the whole team rather than just our new boys.
Rewind to early December 2017, almost everyone was worried that the team were yet to hit camp in preparation of this tournament, after being released post-WAFU Cup 2nd place outing. No one knew who was going to Morocco and who wasn’t. It was just speculations and speculations and finally, with just a few weeks to the tournament proper, the camp was opened and new additions were made.
The NPFL Super 6 invitational and a very informal friendly with Cameroon were all the extra preparation they got and they have managed to get us miracles and we’re in the final, somewhere we never saw them getting to, if we were to judge by their preparations.
Truth is, while we definitely want to beat Morocco to the title, 1000% of Nigerian football fans will be happy with a second place and with such less pressure comes and air of freedom, freedom to soar just like a super eagle. The source of this happiness is not necessarily on the progress made but on the ever improving quality of play of the team. Everyone has improved over the course of the tournament, kudos to Coach Salisu Yusuf and his backroom staff.
The CHAN Eagles have decided to put some inconsequential trivialities that really matter in football today behind their quest for continental glory and we are seeing how far determination and teamwork has lead us. If only our World Cup Eagles can replicate such decision. Definitely, the glass house says the Benjamins are ready but the boys want to win first and celebrate the huge alert together with the trophy.
Yes, our CHAN Eagles have arguably punched above their weight by getting this far but it I’d high time we jettisoned our fire brigade approach to everything. We may never be this lucky. The Nigerian spirit of rising above all odds may not always be enough. Success is a product of conceited efforts and not just sheer luck. We have male and female teams who will be going into tournaments soon and what is good for the geese is also good for the gander.
I guess this has gotten longer than I felt it would be.
Back tomorrow with some Enyimba stuff.