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Joel Ogundeji who is the Head Coach of Ogbomoso United FC has appealed for calm among its fans while putting out a standing promise that it would be revamping and restructuring the club for a much better performance and promotion to the Nigeria National League (NNL).
Ogundeji’s assurance was contained in a statement by the Media Officer of the Nation-wide League One (NLO) club, Stephen Adetunji, in Lagos.
He said that the second stanza of the NLO would witness a drastic change in the results from the players.
“Coach Ogundeji Joel has appealed for calm and has reassured not to give up in ensuring Ogbomoso United returned to winning ways,” he said.
Ogundeji said “ I know we didn’t make our fans happy, when I came in I knew hopes were high to build a formidable team and this is an objective we are working on.
“I believe the second round will be better. The little break will give us time to put the team on the right track. Many people are saying why do I have to come back but what they don’t know is Ogbomoso United is so dear to my heart.
“The Club Chairman, Akinwale Wolekanle gave us a template to showcase our talents and we must make him proud. I will not relent as we hope to get back to winning ways,” he said.
Ogbomoso United FC sits third on the log of NLO Group C1 with 11 points from eight matches with three wins, two draws and three losses.
Other teams in the NLO Group C1 include group leaders, Fehinty FC; second placed Gidado FC; SGFC Athletic FC, FC Ebedei, OSOPADEC FC, Hammola FC, Pacesetter FC and Akure FC.
Also, Babatunde Ajagbe, an international squash player, on Thursday said equal prize money should be attached to all categories, to end the disparity between the male and female players. He said this against the backdrop of growth in women’s squash, compared with their male counterparts.
Ajagbe, who stated this in an interview in Lagos, said by doing so, female squash players would be encouraged to put in more energy and commitment.
“This is very true and I think the best way to go about this is by making equal cash prizes for both genders, and organizing more tournaments for them.
“These would encourage them to train hard and improve the level of their games, and squash in general will be better for it. It’s important that women’s squash grow significantly,” he said.
On grassroots development, the former number one ranked player in the country said that with more regular tournaments, squash at the grassroots would grow exponentially.
“There are lots of positive changes in the last five years; the last and present board have done a great job in improving the level of squash in Nigeria.
“They had coaching camps and clinics, they were able to send a team to the last World Squash Team Championship in the USA in 2019 and also Malaysia in 2021, which was canceled due to Covid-19.
“In terms of development, I believe they are working towards the right path; they now have tournaments every month; these tournaments might not be a huge tournament but it’s consistent and consistency is the key to development and improvement,” he said
He announced that he would organise for a junior national championship for U 13-U19 boys and girls, scheduled to commence from May 26 to May 29 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
“I intend to make this regular, it’s my own way of giving back to squash; I have played in several categories and I know it’s important to have regular competition to help sharpen one’s competitive skills.
“These will also complement what the federation and association are doing, as the government alone cannot do it all,” the former number one ranked player said.
He also appealed for the inclusion of squash at the Commonwealth Games.
“I hope that the handlers of Nigerian Sports would consider that the Nigeria Sports commission would allow these players to represent them in the Commonwealth Games. It is crucial for players to have international exposure,” he said.
Ajagbe is currently ranked 153 on World Professional Squash Association.