By Femi Atolagbe
The Ondo State Football Association, stakeholders in the world of sports have showered encomiums on the team that represented the state at the just concluded Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria (YSFON) Presidential National U-17 soccer Tournament held in Ilorin.
The Chairman of Ondo State FA, Otunba Dele Ajayi, at the reception organised for the players, coaches and officials of the team at the board room of the state Sports Complex, Akure, commended the team for doing themselves and the state proud in the tournament.
Kwara State Team defeated Team Ondo 2-0 in the final match of the competition.
By winning the tournament Kwara State qualified to represent the country in Norway to participate at competition, while Ondo State qualified to represent the country in Finland.
Ajayi, who thanked the parents for releasing their wards, urged the players to be more hard working and keep training as they prepare for the trip to Finland.
“Now your parents know the importance of being a ‘Kanu’ or ‘Okocha’, even though they don’t have money compared to players of nowadays, you can make one billion naira in a year, courtesy of our exchange rate and I know you will aspire to be great.
“Don’t be arrogant; respect your coaches,parents and administrators. Listen to instructions from the elders,” Ajayi said.
He urged the technical committee to look for more programmes that could help the teams to grow.
The chairman later urged the young talents not to joke with their education as they would have something to fall on after retirement saying football alone would not sustain them forever.
The Chairman of the Technical Committee, Henry Abiodun appreciated the FA leadership and the coaching crew that led the team to Ilorin for a job well-done.
Abiodun said the importance of keeping the young talents together was not to win tournaments only, but to give them necessary exposure to develop them.
General Manager,Ondo State Sports Council, Henry Babatunde commended the Sponsor of the team, Kingsley Ossai for sponsoring the team and the leadership of the FA for the support and encouragement.
Babatunde, while urging the players to be hard working and be of good character, begged relevant stakeholders to support the growth of sports in the state.