By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
President of the Nigeria Volleyball Federation (NVBF), Engineer Musa Nimrod and the Head Coach of the Nigeria female Volleyball senior team Samuel Ajayi have said that the National female indoor and Beach Volleyball teams alongside their male beach team are not to be underestimated as they go for the zonal qualifiers ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games.
The Nigeria volleyball and beach teams will be slugging out for tickets during the qualifiers in Cameroon, Ghana and Lome Togo respectively.
They made this known on Tuesday night while addressing Sports writers in Kaduna at the team’s camp as the prepare to leave the shores of this country for the qualifiers.
According to the NVBF President, “I don’t like making promises, but underrate these young girls at your own peril. We are building a strong team that will make the country proud in Italy 2024, but it doesn’t mean that we will make up the numbers.
” Other African participating countries know that Nigeria is coming with a brand new team, but i can assure you that Nigeria no more carry the underdog tag at that level. It’s so unfortunate that only the female team will be competing in Cameroon for obvious reasons and couple with the fact that they did very well at the last All African Games.
“We have done our part as Federation by giving them the best of preparation and by spending several weeks in camp and i want to urge them to be good Ambassadors in Cameroon.
” It’s like a General preparing his army for war, he’s always confident of victory. Therefore, we’re very confident of picking the sole ticket.
Engr. Nimrod further stated that the Federation is expecting her Technical Adviser, a Brazilian in Nigeria this January and the main focus will be to develop Volleyball from the grassroots.
On his part, the Head coach of the Nigeria female National Volleyball team, also expressed optimism of picking the sole ticket when the African qualifiers begin.
“We have spent three weeks in camp and i must say that my young and energetic team are battle ready. We’re participating to win the qualifiers and pick the sole ticket. Countries like Egypt, Kenya and Cameroon are ahead of us, but this time around, it will be completely a different ball game.
” The atmosphere in camp is cool and high. The Federation’s President, Engr. Musa Nimrod has not stopped supporting us. If not for his tremendous support, it would have been almost impossible to participate. Since he came on board few years ago, Volleyball has been on the rise and at a different level completely.
He called for supports from well meaning Nigerians and organizations for the game of volleyball to attain her full pottentials in Nigeria.
Captain of the team, Okonmah Theresa Nwamaka, said: “Nigerians will see something different during the qualifiers with the level of training, caliber of players and coaches at our disposal by the grace of God.
The beach volleball qualifier for female will begin from 2nd-6th January, 2020 in Ghana while the indoor volleyball qualifier for female with kick- start from the 2nd- 10th January, 2020 in Cameroon.
The beach male team will commence their qualifiers from the 9th-13th January, 2020 in Lome Togo.
The teams will be accompanied by coaches, referees and official from the federation during the qualifiers.