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“Abia is a Repository of Soccer Talents”-Ikpeazu Speaks as He Makes Star Appearance at Preseason Tournament

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Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, PHD, made a star appearance at the Governor Okezie Ikpeazu preseason tournament, on Sunday. The Governor was present to watch Enyimba’s 4-0 victory over Cynosure FC and he was visibly impressed by what he saw

Before the Governor’s arrival, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Hon. Emeka Imekwuagwu, was also on ground, working diligently to ensure the success of the competition

The Governor spoke to journalists and expressed his delight at the tournament. Dr Ikpeazu said that the tournament will continue. He further declared that being a champion is a process

“We will sustain it because that is the only way to go. Being a champion is a process, not an event. You need to prepare and you need to sustain your position up there. So we think it is something that we need to do. In academics they do peer review, this is peer review for soccer”

Speaking generally about the competition, he said the idea was to help participating teams to fine-tune their preparations for the upcoming football season

“The idea is to get the various participating teams battle-ready for the main action. With what I see so far, I have underscored their seriousness, commitment and I’m impressed with the zeal and vigour with which they are playing and I hope that the technical teams of Enyimba and all other teams that will participate will seize this opportunity to fine-tune their strategy, try new players, try new formations and eventually come up with what they feel will be their strategy for the competition”

The Governor said that he would not judge Enyimba by one match but acknowledged that has seen good football sense from the players.

There is also a Governor’s Cup which will soon begin. The Governor highlighted the importance of that tournament and others like it

“Certainly, some of these things you see lined up are part and parcel of our strategy to engage our youths because I’m a very strong advocate of the fact that whenever you see youth restiveness, it dovetails into energy management. Besides that, football has become major business all over the world and I want you sports journalists and administrators in Nigeria to see the organic evolution of various soccer academies in Abia. It tells you that Abia State remains a repository of soccer talents and we want to take it to the next level because if you have a preponderance of academies, you must plan a harvesting mechanism.”

The Governor also talked about Abia Warriors who could be playing their NPFL games outside the state because of the condition of the pitch at the Umuahia Township Stadium

“Certainly, if for any reason a team loses their rights to play in their home turf, the next thing to do is to accept the circumstances, make necessary adjustments, make sure it does not repeat itself and then work towards the movement back. It is a natural choice for us.”

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