• Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

“Age does not play football. Your understanding of the game is the age” – Aliyu Zubairu blows hot

Head Coach of El Kanemi Warriors, Aliyu Zubairu has stresed the importance of providing young players with opportunities to prove themselves, rather than solely relying on experienced veterans, platinumnewsng.com is reporting.

It was a scintillating encounter at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Lagos where El Kanemi Warriors triumphed over Abia Warriors to secure the President Federation Cup for the third time in their history. The victory was sealed with a spectacular performance by Nasiru Salihu, who scored twice after an initial missed penalty, leading his team to an emphatic win.

The atmosphere was electric as fans witnessed a display of good football and skill from El Kanemi Warriors. The match began with the Maiduguiri based side showing determination early in the game. At the end of 90 minutes, it was Salihu who emerged as the hero of the day. Despite the early setback of a missed penalty, he remained undeterred and found the back of the net twice in both halves of the game ensuring his team’s victory and a place in the CAF Confederations Cup.

Following the match, the focus shifted to the post-game press conference where El Kanemi Warriors’ coach, Aliyu Zubairu, addressed the media. The conference took a compelling turn when Zubairu was questioned about his plans for strengthening the team with experienced players ahead of the CAF Confederations Cup.

Coach Zubairu’s response was both passionate and thought-provoking as he advocated for the inclusion and development of young players, drawing parallels with European football where young talents are often given opportunities at the big stage.

“The reality remains that if the Europeans can believe in young players, what is stopping us from also doing the same? If the Neymars and Messis are breaking out at a young age, what is stopping our own players?” Zubairu questioned.

Zubairu continued, “Age does not play football. Your understanding of the game is the age. The younger the better, I still stick to that. If at 29, you are still trying to go out to Europe, that means at 31 and 32 that is when you are coming in for Nigeria. Is something not wrong with us? At 32, 33 a player is breaking through? At a time a player should be packing his bag and baggages to leave the stage, that is when we are breaking through, and then the young ones will not be given the opportunity until they are that age. Come on, let us think. Let us think alike.”

While acknowledging the value of experienced players, Zubairu made a compelling case for the energy, skill, and hunger that young players bring to the field. “I am not saying the experienced ones, their services are not needed but don’t underestimate what the young ones can do. They have the energy, the skill, and the hunger that they want to go. That is it.”

El Kanemi Warriors, newly promoted to the Nigeria Premier Football League joins Enyimba International in the CAF Confederations Cup qualifiers. League Winners, Enugu Rangers and runners up, Remo Stars will play in the CAF Champions League qualifiers for the 2024/25 season.

Jokanola Bolaji

Hello, I am here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *