By: Dele Obaseesin
Though an average number of people will say, there are lots of football activities going on in the stadium, it may be so or not, but do we have a series of football activities that can sell out our fast rising young talent? If truly it is true
It is unfortunate that we aim well but have bad intentions and shoddy motives.
Lots of people will say that Kwara United Football Club is doing well, in all fairness the club is dying, how will you tell the story that a club going to relegation was brought back to the league, played the new season and finished the season 4th on the table and end up playing continental game that same year.
How Do We Get There?
Being one of the first six states created in the country, Kwara is known for producing talented players in football that have gone to represent the nation. An example of such talent is the late Rashidi Yekini, who till date is still the highest goal scorer for the Super Eagles.
However, despite the abundance of talents in the grassroots, Kwara, over the years have struggled to produce players to represent the nation in football. Nottingham Forest striker, Taiwo Awoniyi is the only Kwara-born player in the current Super Eagles squad.
Meanwhile, an instance that shows the talent in grassroots football in Kwara, is the performance of Kwara Football Academy in the 2022 and 2021 Ramat Cup Tournament in Kano.
The youngsters from the academy emerged champions of the National U16 tournament consecutively and some of the best players (Daniel Aiyenugba, Godwin Oshagbemi, and Abubakar Garba) of both tournaments.
Despite their impressive performances at the tournaments, the boys have still returned to the academy without a national invitation to the cadet categories of the national team.
According to the Administrator of the academy, Mallam Ibrahim Bako, the development and growth of youngsters from the grassroots to the national or professional level in the state have been stagnant for quite some time due to the absence of investors in the state.
Mallam Bako added that having an influential figure in the Nigeria Football Federation will aid the progression of the youngsters to the national camp, hence, project their talent to over two million Nigerians and the world.
The current situation which finds Hundreds and Thousands of talented youngsters in the state without a clear path to success is disheartening, a situation that should worry the Kwara State Football Association, who is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring the growth and development of the sport in the game.
The Kwara State Football Association led by the National Coordinator of Abubakar Bukola Saraki Football Club, Honourable Idris Abdullahi Musa (Thuraya), while seeking election into office promised to develop the talented players through sponsorship.
The Kwara FA Chairman disclosed this while giving his manifesto during a forum organised by Sportspro International before the election on Thursday February 14th, 2019.
In his first few months as Chairman, Honourable Abdullahi secured some partnerships and organized an U-15 Tournament, which enables the sixteen Local Governments to present a team.
The tournaments produced about ten exceptional players, who were given scholarships to the Kwara Football Academy to aid their football and educational growth.
However, the maiden edition of the tournament is the only edition of such tournaments organized by the FA in the state. Also, after over three years in office, the Kwara FA is yet to secure a sponsor for the state league and yet to play it in a league format.
To save the current situation of football in Kwara, the FA has to meet its responsibility and create an environment for the game and players to progress.