Every player dreams of being on the pitch, making a difference in the game, and hearing the roar and cheers of the fans.
For talented young and versatile defender, Hussaini Abdullahi,this dream took an unexpected twist over the weekend when he found himself sitting on the bench as an unused substitute in Bendel Insurance’s first fixture of the Nigeria Premier Football League season against Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan on Saturday at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium.
Hussaini Abdullahi, a rising star known for his impeccable defending and vision on the field, joined the Benin Arsenal from Niger Tornadoes prior to get start of last season.
Many expected him to at least feature in the weekend’s match, but to their surprise, he remained seated throughout the game.
The question on everyone’s mind: Why would Coach Monday Odigie leave out a young talent of Hussaini’s caliber?
Coach Odigie’s decision, it turns out, was a calculated move. Following Odigie tactics from the Nigeria National League when he took Insurance from the second division to the continent, he has always stuck with his centre back partnership of Tamimu-Anyawu which always pay off. Insurance conceded the least goals in the NPFL, last season.
It is evident that this partnership has yielded results, although Hussaini Abdullahi can play as a full back like he did, when he featured for the Benin Arsenal in the second leg fixture against ASO Chlef in Algeria.
While Hussaini’ expressed his readiness to be on the pitch, he respects the coach’s decision.
“I’m a team player, and I trust the coach’s judgment, I have been training and learning from the senior players in the squad” Hussaini said.
“I’ll use this time to prepare myself for when my opportunity comes, I’ll be ready to give my best for the team.”
Bendel Insurance will host Plateau United at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium on Saturday by 4pm in matchday three of the NPFL.