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From prison to professional football, Oduko preaches education to aspiring stars


Former Nigerian footballer, Ese Oduko, who spent his entire career overseas, believes the current crop of players face development challenges because they lack the basic education and discipline required to excel in the profession.

He also said more Nigerian footballers would make it to the best clubs if they were educated and disciplined to follow the rules of progression in the game.


Speaking at the presentation of his book entitled, “My Divine direction, the journey from prison to professional football,” Oduko said footballers should try to acquire education while learning the game so as to grasp the demands of the modern game.

The former Stade Rennais of France player said the current dynamics in football training has affected the development of talented but illiterate players because they fail to understand the advanced teachings in modern football.

He called on parents to equip their children by ensuring they go to school while pursuing a career in football.


According to Oduko, “I wrote the book to make youths understand that they can be whoever they want to be if they are determined for success.

“The book has been launched in the United Kingdom before bringing it to Nigeria. It contains my life struggles to greatness, which is a good lesson for everybody, especially youths.

“When I came out from prison for an offence I did not commit, I did not give up my love for football, God gave me the confidence that I can still make it in football.

“I travelled to Europe by land, a journey that took me across different African countries and deserts. After playing for various clubs in Europe, I decided to come to my country and develop youths in sports and entertainment.


“My major goal is to ensure my book gets to many schools in the country. I discovered during my stay overseas that some Nigerian footballers could not get to play for big clubs because they lack education.”

Oduko advised budding footballers, who want to succeed in the profession, to acquire a reasonable level of education, adding, “apart from knowing how to read and write, footballers must also expose themselves in reading different materials to upgrade their level in training.

“One of the reasons I am launching this book is also to encourage the reading culture among students and youths aspiring to be great in future.”


Ebu, Abuja  
Football fans at the Hustle and Bustle Viewing Centre to watch the Manchester City versus Chelsea UEFA Champions League final, which ended 1-0 in favour of Chelsea at the weekend, have described the large screen provided for the event by Heineken as ideal for viewing such big games outdoor.

In anticipation of an exciting end to the 2020/2021 UEFA Champions League season, Heineken unveiled a new campaign tagged, “You’re Never Watching Alone: Share the Passion.”
Fans at the centre described the event as the most glamorous and most followed football competition they have ever witnessed in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and its environs.

“My greatest joy is the large screen that made it look as if one is in the main stadium watching the live game. Should Heineken continue providing this type of facility to enable football fans to watch both English Premier League and our local league matches, I believe it would reduce the tension caused by the incessant banditry and other social vices in this area,” Jalla Isa, one of the fans told The Guardian.


A lady fan spotted at the centre, Ruth Amadu, said the large screen made the players real. “It was exciting watching from such a large screen and it cannot be compared with the toy-like television screen in the house.

“Also, the moment you stepped into the venue, one feels safe with the type of security in place,” she added.
Speaking on the campaign before the game, Senior Brand Manager, Heineken, Aishat Anaekwe, said: “This promises to be yet another exciting UCL final for football fans and consumers. As such, we had to devise ways to complement the spectacle and enhance the experience for Nigerian football fans with a host of exciting activities through which they can share and channel that passion that comes with every topical moment in the competition.”
From prison to professional football, Oduko preaches education to aspiring stars


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