By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
Ahead of the All Africa Games (AAG) Zonal qualification, the Nigeria Volleyball Federation (NVBF) has assembled a brand new national team.
Technical Director, Nigeria Volleyball Federation (NVBF) Mr Martins Melandie disclosed this ahead of their departure for Abidjan on Thursday May 16, 2019 in Kaduna where the team camped.
“We have a new senior volleyball team for men. The expectations is to go and pick the only ticket we have in zone three,” he said.
The Technical Director said that Nigeria has never failed to pick the ticket, and this time will not be an exception
“In history we have been picking ticket and this time we hope to do same,” he assured.
He explained that as part of activities to fine tune their final preparations in camp for AAG zonal qualification, they have played several friendly matches.
“We are rounding up today with 14 players in camp out of the 30 invited when the camp started,” he said.
He revealed that they were able to bring in three players to beef up the team, one of which is a Canadian based international.
He further said that they were going all out to qualify and contest to win medals at the AAG.
“Since 2003, we have not picked a medal from AAG volleyball event so we hope to pick medal,” he said.
On the sponsorship of the team, hr said that NVBF was solely responsible.
“The federation under Engineer Musa Nimrod is sponsoring the camping and trip to Abidjan,” he clarified.
“They are departing tomorrow. Leaving Kaduna tomorrow by train for Abuja from where they will take a flight,” he added.
For the Nigeria senior volleyball team head coach, Japhet Nuhu, he said the players were well motivated and ready to do the country round.
“With what we have displayed so far in friendly matches played, I believe our game will improve.
“We will do our best and we need prayers from Nigerians so that we can make us all proud by claiming the only available ticket,” he stressed.
For the Canada based Uchenna Chinedu Ofoha, playing for Nigeria is a dream come true.
The 24 years old said he is proud to represent Nigeria, despite being born in Canada.
“It feels great to represent my country. I am proud of playing for Nigeria. Both parents are Nigerians and I love my country” he said.
When asked if the weather conditions will not affect his play, he said it won’t be the first time he is playing in hot weather.
” I have played in hot weather before, played beach volleyball before, which is always in hot weather, and would just need a lot of water.
On what he feels about his team mates, he said they are fun to be with.
“The team is great. Been here for just three days already blending. What remains is chemistry for us to become unbeatable,” he said.