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HomeHeadline2024 NPFL Youth League: Victorious Team Counts Blessings. By Chukwudi Ejimofor,...

2024 NPFL Youth League: Victorious Team Counts Blessings. By Chukwudi Ejimofor, P/H.

 

Still with the euphoria of the outcome of the maiden edition of Under 17 Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) Youth League, organized by Nigeria Football Federation (NFF); Chief Ken Chuku, head coach Rivers United Youth Team that emerged victorious at the 2024 U17 NPFL youth league played in Benin City, said all thanks and glory is due to God.

Addressing sports Journalist at the side line of Rivers State Keves Cup competition at Sharks Stadium, Port Harcourt, Coach Ken Chuku said his experience from the U17 youth league in Benin City was an act of God, without which the team cannot be champions from South South and conquer the nation.

“At the commencement of the league our major fear was our first match, Bendel Insurance team during the zonal qualifying stage here in Port Harcourt, because the media rated them high, we qualified in Port Harcourt, we went to Benin City where the winner takes it all. At Benin City Remo was the raining team, we punished them with 3-1 victory.” Coach Ken stated.

He dedicated his team’s victory to Almighty God, whom he said took away the challenge they had and made the victory possible for them.

“My challenges? You know when victory come, win appears to erase some challenges. I don’t want to look backwards, am satisfied with what God has given to us as south south and 2024 NPFL Nigeria youth league champion. Every other challenge God took care of it and we are moving, with His grace”.

The Chief Tactician of Rivers United Youth team expressed delight that his team did not just win the league but also clinched almost individual players’ award in the league.

“Am most grateful, as we speak my 10 players has been shortlisted for U17 and U20 the team of the tournament. Our player won the highest goal scorers award, our play won the man of the match of the final game, and the overall best payer of the tournament. And I am the coach of the tournament. In the team of the tournament, our 5 player are in the starting of 11 players, 2 are on the bench, and am the Coach of the tournament, so we achieved a lot.” He maintained

He recounted how they recruited the young lads and the efforts that earned his team the deserved victory.

“I and my crew went from street to street, football field to football fields in Port Harcourt to invite these boys, there was no sentiment during the selection process of these boys because we were searching for the best. I and my crew don’t know any of these players before they were invited. If we don’t see you on the field we drop you. I have been with them close to one year, based on the NFF calendar. It’s has been a tough experience, but we are grateful we are victorious.”

Coach Ken expressed the belief that with God all things are possible as he is available to serve the nation for the U17 Youth team.

All powers belong to God, if God has assigned that we should serve the nation as the coach of U 17, we are ready to serve the nation, but NFF and the NPFL has the final say on this, but our doors are open for the job”.

Also speaking to Journalists, the captain of the victorious team, Paul Junior Paul felt very happy with the opportunity given to them to expose their skills and talents

“We feel very happy because this is the opportunity we have been looking forward for, where we showcase ourselves and our talent. We are happy with God that we came out victorious. It was God that was on our side not because we were better than other teams and we as well played very well.”

Paul Junior Paul averred that it was through their Coaches instructions, self discipline and hard work that earned the victory.

“The secret behind our victory is hard work, consistent training, we are always on the pitch training, taking instructions from our Coaches and above all we were hungry for the victory, we needed the results. We will do better if more opportunities like this kept coming.”

The Captain Admonished his fellow youths to be focused and consistent in training to achieve their goals.

“My advice to my fellow youth looking for opportunities like this, is that they should keep training, be consistent to what they choose to do and to dedicate to what they are doing, definitely they opportunities will come some day, and they should be ready for it. Majority of the ex-internationals that advised us at the tournament said hard work and consistent training; according to them the Europe we are aspiring to go, the players there are also training consistently, so for us to be ahead of them we must always be on the training pitch.”

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