Poor preparation may hinder Team Nigeria’s progress in Brazzaville, says Atusu
THE Technical Director of the Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN), Pat Atusu, has expressed fear over the possibility of the country’s women handball team doing well at the 2015 All Africa Games scheduled for Brazzaville, Congo, from September 4 to 19.
Speaking with The Guardian on the state of preparation for the women handball team in Brazzaville Atusu said: “I must confess that we’ve not heard anything from the National Sports Commission (NSC), yet about what plans they have to prepare the team.
But at the association level, we’ve not really started anything.” The Handball Technical Director, who cited the recent elections as one of the reasons why the association has not been able to do any meaningful thing as regards preparations said: “Because of these elections, the board of the association has not been able to meet, but what I intend to give them is for us to start something by the end of June. “
Also, we intend to fish out more girls to infuse into the team and that is why the Federation wants to organise a female championship that will be open for any female handballer who thinks she can make the team to come around.
This competition we are proposing will come up first week of June.” Asked if there was any plan by the association as regards the women team embarking on oversea training tour so as to keep them in good shape for the All African Games, Atusu said: “You know when it comes to this playing tour especially as it has to do with the African Games, it will come from the NSC because there is always a bulk plan for team event to go to a particular country.
“The previous plans have always been that they are sent to Germany. We don’t know if they have that plan for now. But from the association level, we do not have the fund to sponsor the team for any training tour except the NSC comes out to take that responsibility.”
In the area of sponsorship, Atusu said the association was backing on the Mega veterans (former handball players) to help the association out. “
For instance the association has approached the Mega veteran to help even sponsor the championship that I have just talked about.
The Mega veterans are also planning to help the Federation to see that they get sponsorship to start the camp, if the NSC is not ready.”
On the plan of making sure the girls get the best in terms of technical input, he said: “During the next championship that will come up around June, we want to organise a seminar for coaches because we want to see that we are satisfied with the coaching crew for this All African Games.
The previous plans have always been that they are sent to Germany. We don’t know if they have that plan for now. But from the association level, we do not have the fund to sponsor the team for any training tour except the NSC comes out to take that responsibility. I must confess that we’ve not heard anything from the National Sports Commission (NSC), yet about what plans they have to prepare the team. But at the association level, we’ve not really started anything.
The coaching clinic will be for few selected coaches and also to find out whether we will be able to recognise and identify some more experience coaches that will come and beef up the coaching crew.”
The Nigeria women handball team secured a spot in the AAG following their 17-16 win over rivals, Cote d’Ivoire, in their group game.
They went on to secure a 34-32 victory over Burkina Faso in the final game to confirm their superiority in the zone. The final was decided by the lottery of penalties after both sides ended the fourth overtime tied on scores.
Both Nigeria and Burkina Faso will represent the zone in the women’s event of the AAG. However, Nigeria’s male team failed to qualify for the championships after losing the only slot by 25-32 to Cote d’Ivoire.
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