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Young Players Need Discipline, Govt Support To Excel, Says Akpoborie



Jonathan Akpoborie

FORMER Super Eagles player and Technical Adviser to teams at the Port Harcourt Regional Championship of Airtel Rising Star (ARS) 5 U-17 football tournament, Jonathan Akpoborie has urged the Nigerian government to invest in sports development through grassroots initiative such as the ARS in order to reverse the setback, which the nation’s football has witnessed.

He said Nigeria has quality people that are well talented, adding that the Niger Delta region is full of talented players but stressed the need to groom them early.

He lauded the Airtel Rising Star (ARS) 5 U-17 football tournament, saying: “Through this kind of tournament you see how players can develop to become bigger stars of tomorrow.”

Akpoborie disagreed with people who have concluded that the nation lacks football talents, noting that when young talents are groomed, the best in them would be displayed and the wrong impression would be corrected.

He said: “We see raw talents on display in this tournament. When you are into football, you listen a lot to various comments by people. “I believe that in years to come this event will be more competitive and by that time you will see that the tournament will witness development and teams from a different region will challenge others.

Surprisingly as against a team dominating the tournament or continue to hold the title for long. “The trophy will have to be going round the country and that makes it better.

It is not necessarily winning at all cost but for the kids to have fun, socialise and gain exposure. And when they grow up, they could still come together because they have met before from such an event as this”. “One very important thing at this level is discipline.

Good coaches, experienced players and parents give the right discipline to young players, that is why we see some kids who eventually become top football stars, they are very lucky to meet someone who will guide them toward the right direction”.

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