The Head Coach of Offa Volleyball Club, Sulaiman Olayinka Bidemi Ajeigbe has expressed optimism at his team’s performance ahead of the Volleyball Premier League which kicks off next year.
Coach Ajeigbe, who spoke to sportsbash.com.ng reports at the Indoor Sports Hall of the University of Ilorin during the just concluded Volleyball Super Cup, said that he has experienced and young players that will do the state proud in the league.
Offa Volleyball Club participated in Division One League last year, from where they picked the Premier League ticket. The Premier League was shifted from this year to 2021, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to him, ‘we have quality players to play the league. I so much believe in the grassroots, and that was what we started with back then, to get us to where we are today’, he said.
‘All the players in the team are indigenes of Kwara state. I don’t need to go far to source for players when we have good materials here. Even if I have to spend three, four or five years to groom players, I will continue to do it.
He said that the project started in 2010, with the aim of complementing government’s efforts at developing youth and sports, and the team has broken new grounds, getting to the top of the nation’s volleyball, and having players in the national teams.
‘We have three players in the national team. Abdulafeez Mayowa participated in the 2019 Nations Cup, won gold for the country, Jaiyeola Quadri represented Nigeria in Zone III in Ghana last year, and we also have Rofiat Mustapha, who was part of the senior team that played in the All Africa Games last year.
Another player, Zikirullahi Oyedepo has just been invited to the national team too. And just like I said, they are all Kwarans.
‘Most of the players that qualified Kwara state for the National Sports Festival were products of our grassroots programme. They will fly Kwara’s flag at the next National Sports Festival in Edo state.
Coach Ajeigbe said that even though the team struggled in the Super Cup, due to late preparation and alteration of training schedules, they have positives to take from the competition as they squared up against top volleyball playing teams in the nation.
He therefore, solicited the support of government and well meaning Kwarans, to fully prepare the team for the Premier League participation.
‘We want sponsors that will provide us with the needed facilities, kits and welfare packages for the players. Presently, I do the little can be done within my limited resources, in terms of transportation, feeding and allowances. It’s not easy, but it’s because I have the interest. We sometimes run around to beg people to assist us.