…fulfils a pledge to the female team
Ahead of the Nigeria Women Football, NWFL 2023/24 Season, Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt Hon Comrade Philip Shaibu, Tuesday joined the state-owned Edo Queens Football Club at their training session.
The sports-loving Deputy Governor who took out time to speak with the team after the training session said: “The improvement you see with Bendel Insurance and Edo Queens took us almost 4 to 5 years to reach where we are today”.
“The two teams are still working in progress because we have not gotten to where we are going. However, we are getting there gradually”.
“The Insurance team has started setting new records. Last season, they were unbeaten, won the FA Cup after over 40 years of drought and qualified for the CAF Championship”.
“For Edo Queens, this season, they have started on a good note by winning the Betsy Obaseki pre-season women’s football tournament. You can see the level and tempo of the team”.
“We set a template for the teams that is very difficult to beat. Other football clubs do come to copy the professionalism in the Bendel Insurance team. As a former player who has managed the club before, I instituted many ideas, both on and off the pitch”.
“This season, we have been able to bring in new players to beef up both the Bendel Insurance and Edo Queens. I hope both teams continue to sustain the template for continental glory”.
“I am also happy that the Betsy Obaseki pre-season tournament is still on. It was an idea I sold to the First Lady to help mobilize the Girl Child project. I am happy that the idea is still flourishing and my team (Edo Queens) won the tournament after three years”.
“I’ am equally happy that beyond winning, the purpose of the team is to give hope and confidence to the team players to play themselves and show their skills that will earn them a national call-up to go to Europe where football is flourishing – just like Imade Osarekhoe and Ogbonna Glory – who are doing us proud in Europe”.
“Again, I am so happy that these players are doing well. I have been so disturbed that our national team goal-keeping department has not been doing well since Vincent Eyneama retired”.
“The Nigeria national football team missed the last FIFA World Cup due to poor goalkeeping. I was a witness to the long-range goal that was scored by our professional goalkeeper; same with the recent Saudi Arabia friendly”.
“In the Nigeria league, we have good goalkeepers like the Bendel Insurance first-choice goalkeeper, Amas Obasogie and Plateau United Goalkeeper”.
“Amas showed class and maturity during the continental matches against the Moroccans and Algerian teams. I am excited that he finally earned his national call-up”, Shaibu added.
Recall that the sports-loving Deputy Governor had earlier made a financial pledge to Edo Queens if they won the Betsy Obaseki pre-season tournament. The team eventually emerged as champions, after defeating defending champions, Bayelsa Queens FC on penalties when the match ended in a draw at full-time during the finals.
The Deputy Governor has since fulfilled his pledge to the team, as part of efforts to boost the team’s morale, ahead of the new football season.
The team captain, Suliat Abideen, however, appreciated Governor Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy, Rt Hon Comrade Philip Shaibu for their support, while promising to keep putting up their best ahead of the new season.