A volleyball enthusiast and Commander 2Division Garrison, Nigerian Army, Ibadan, Brigadier General Usman Yusuf has made a plea to the Nigerian Volleyball Federation to institute a national league for the game to help the volleyball grow and earn Olympic qualification.
The Army chief while briefing journalists in Ibadan expressed disappointment at the dismal outing of the Team Nigeria to the recently held Rio Olympics in Brazil saying “the haphazard way we handled our preparations for major competitions would always be an albatross to our sporting success.”
Usman, “It’s all about early preparation and approach, we cannot be organizing National Sports Festival and after the festival everybody goes back to his home and not following whatever talent discovered there until it is only in an Olympic year that you gather players together and you expect them to qualify for Olympics, it is not done that way. The way the football league is being played across the nation is the way volleyball supposed to be played, just like basketball is doing and from there we select a team and camp them for years, put them under a good coach that have great understanding of the game and capabilities of each players, that is how we can make it.”
“If we still follow the haphazard way we handled our preparations we would never be able to make it. I know we have the talents that could take us there because I have played with a lots of volleyball players across the country and I know their capabilities. Here in Ibadan, I have seen wonderful talents, all we need is that commitment to play consistently over long period of time. I have watched volleyball live at the Olympics and seen the standard of play which was very high, the pattern of play which was not very different from what we played at our level, but the difference is playing consistently and being in camp early and in right condition for them to be able to compete anywhere in the world.