Cont'd from last edition
In this edition, Paul Obiakor, shares with us his fears and professional advice about Football. I hope you enjoy the last part of this article.
Are there some moments your regret in Football?
Yes. I regret every moment I lost a match especially when I played so well in that match. Also, when our team conceded a cheap goal or made avoidable mistakes in the field. Of course, nobody is happy when he loses a match because nobody likes to be associated with failure. The match we played against ICC can never be forgotten. They scored two goals against our team and the match ended with so many injuries, both players and fans.
What are your fears in Football?
My fears about football are in the officiating process. It is disheartening that a team will go outside and concede many goals but end up winning in his home ground. What kind of magic is that? Matches are supposed to be joyous events. You can win away and lose at home. Lobby Stars came to Enugu and defeated Rangers with 2-1 and they were being hailed. But if it was the reverse at the home ground of Lobby Stars, we won't go free, neither the team nor referee will go free.
Officiating is the greatest problem we have. Majority of our referees are not qualified to officiate matches. They can quote the laws of the game but lack mental alertness and capabilities in making decisions within splits of seconds on the field. Above all, Referee Assessors do not access them well. They have clicks and groups. If officiating will be better, Football will be better too.
Do you advice people to be educated before going into sports?
Education is important. Education doesn't fail and it is the key to success. It wasn't easy for me due to many reasons and challenges. Some of my friends gave me bad advice to even become a drug pusher in other to make a living. I wouldn't want to say I regret such challenges that came my way, but the truth remains that education is very important and should be treated with priority. I will advice that people should push forward to achieve their first degree which is very important.
Are any of your kids aspiring to move into sports?
My son loves sports but doesn't partake in it, and my kids aerobics sometimes to keep themselves fit
What's your advice to the State and Federal Government on Sports?
First of all, Anambra State lacks Stadia. The ones that are in Onitsha are not worthy to be stadio. When the last governor was in the state, I met with him and discussed how sports could be better. He asked me to write my proposal down which I did with my own money because I want the best for my state.
In the proposal, I wrote that building a very good stadium may be difficult and it wouldn't yield better benefits than sports development in schools. The whole idea was for us to have 3 pilot schools that have wide space where we could start up a sporting complex. One of the sporting complexes will be in Awka, the other in Onitsha and the last one in Nnewi, to cover the three major towns in Anambra State. This will attract other local governments to come and benefit from these three pilot areas. Sports can grow through this. I sent the proposal and till now I haven't heard anything about it. When I asked, I was told it was in Keep in View (KIV). For example, the 2017 Traders Cup held at Onitsha wasn't funny at all. We had to pack sand to fill the field. The only good stadium we have now is private owned ones. If local government were to be autonomous, each local government would have its own stadium. This would help reduce criminal activities because a state that occupies its citizens with sporting activities will be free from crime and cult activities. This is because after training and rigorous activities, the youths wouldn't have that time and strength to engage in juvenile delinquencies. Anambra sporting activities are poor and this has made most of our talented players to be playing for other states. If these students and our youths are engaged fully in sports, they would definitely excel. We should engage in building human capacity and not focusing more on already made people.
At the federal level, if you don't have a god father, you can't be heard. Sometimes, these politicians and successful men bribe in their players into the National Team or other big clubs knowing full well that these players lack the skills. These are some of the problems we have in our professional league and matches. This is why we don't have skilled players unlike before. Football now is played with mouth rather than with legs or brains. Instead of me watching Nigeria league, I prefer bringing old tapes from my library to watch Nigeria skilled Football games over and over again. Playing demands so much experience. Above all, having a good coach who can read matches is very important.
As an experienced player in Football, Volley ball and Basket ball, how would you explain to a novice, the rules, techniques and what is required in the game?
In basket ball, your body composition tells me the best game you could engage in. There are young boys and girls in the street who have natural advantage. For me, if there are pitches, I could look for tall boys and girls and teach them basket ball. In basket ball, the first thing to learn is how to bounce ball.
In volley ball, the first thing to learn is how to dig the ball. Gradually, the act of volleying could be practiced. Later, if the person develops more skills, he could become a spiker and learn many more activities in Volley ball.
The technique in football is one of the easiest. When many balls are placed on the field, it only requires the player to start kicking the ball, Afterward, the coach observes to see the strength and weaknesses of each of the players. When you observe carefully, you will begin to see young talented people controlling the ball with left or right. Now, this is the time you will know if the player is left footed and right footed in football.
In goalkeeping, the player needs to bounce the ball, throw and catch. A goal keeper will also learn how to saddle and cock to avoid balls escaping between his legs.
So what does my body type tells you?
Volley ball will be good for you. Because you can bend down, dig the ball and bounce the ball. Basket ball and Football is also included. But the games you cannot do are not combat games.
Thank you for your sustaining your reading habit throughout the sports profile of Paul Obiakor, I hope you enjoyed his sports life and experiences.