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Why I didn’t go into coaching –Babalade

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images 73 Why I didn’t go into coaching –Babalade

How has life been in retirement ?
It ’ s been great even though it ’s not been easy leaving what one used to love to do . I engage in private business and on some days , I go to the stadium to play football with my friends . I also visit friends and sometimes, I do some exercises by jogging to keep myself in shape . After I left active football, I joined 3SC as their Team Manager for a while. I ’ m enjoying my quiet life though, maybe in future, I may apply to join any team as their Team Manager.
Can you recall your experience as 3SC ’ s Team Manager?
Though it was not easy, it was fun too . As the Team Manager, you are the link between the management and the players . You have to make the players comfortable . It ’ s a great responsibility. When I was a player , it was the late Taiwo Ogunjobi who was 3SC ’s Team Manager. When I became the Team Manager , I just had to emulate Ogunjobi’ s style of handling and managing things .
You were once sanctioned by the league body for violent conduct after an incident when 3SC played against Gombe United . What happened ?
This is an incident that I have put behind me . The guy who caused the whole thing later came back to apologise to me . Imagine, this was a ball boy when I was with Iwuanyanwu Nationale then . He allowed himself to be used by some people to get at me . That incident led to me having four or five match ban by the league authorities. However , all that has gone . Life goes on. It ’ s normal in football. Though , in my own view, he only spoilt his name, not mine .
Having played football within and outside Nigeria , what is your view on the present state of the game ’ s development in the country ?
When I was a player for 3 SC , management in football was different . How they do it now, well , I don ’t know . Football in Nigeria is changing every day. Meanwhile , there ’s more money in the game now than when we were players. Though I would say this , the welfare of the players is what should be in the minds of administrators and not some other issues which do not help with the development of the game . Players also have needs , they pay bills . Mind you, once you are a footballer , you become the breadwinner of your family. A lot of people will look up to you.
Do you think the domestic league is ready to return amid COVID – 19 ?
It ’ s a terrible experience . Everybody is feeling it all over the world . I ’ m just looking at how we would cope with it here . If our league is to return , players would need to be tested to know the state of their health, it may cost between N 25 , 000 and N 30 , 000 to test each player and you know the number of players in a club is about 30 or more . I just pray that COVID – 19 should just die down and life returns to normal , the way we used to live . Government and the private sector should please help the clubs.
The highlight of your Eagles career was winning bronze with the team at Senegal ’ 92 AFCON?
If you are a footballer and you have the opportunity to wear that green and white jersey, then you should be grateful to God . My medal ? I have it kept carefully . It means a lot to me . That medal tells me that I ’m part of the nation ’s football history. There ’ s no day I don’t thank God for making me have the experience of playing for the national team.
How was it like playing alongside the late Stephen Keshi in the Eagles ?
It was a wonderful experience for me to play with Keshi , Austin Eguavoen , Samson Siasia , Friday Ekpo and Thompson Oliha , who was my teammate at Iwuanyanwu , amongst others . As a young player then , I never knew that I was going to play with all these stars . Keshi was a great guy. I shared a room with him in camp . When we were about to sleep , I would move near the wall because to me , it was like I was with a demigod . We all looked up to him for leadership . He would call me and say , ‘ Jibade, sleep well . Feel free with me . I am a player like you. ’ One day after training , I was washing my hose , boots and shin guards , I picked his and washed too . He said , ‘You are a star too . Stop treating me as if I ’ m bigger than this . ’ When we had free time , I will leave him alone and go out to play with people I felt were same level with me . I would go to Ekpo and the other guys ’ rooms . Sometimes, it was when we were to go for our meal that he would see me and ask , ‘ this guy where have you been since? You just left me alone in the room . ’ He was also very generous . When he came to camp , he gave me some sports shoes and wears . It ’s sad he ’s no more .
Can you share your club experiences with us ?
I played in Korea with Anyang LG Cheetahs . In Austria , I played for SK Stum Graz . Playing in Austria made me rub shoulders with the top players in Europe . I remember then that when Taribo was with Inter Milan , we played against them . I even exchanged jerseys with most of these guys . It was fun for me . One of the things European clubs respect is this , if you play or have played with the national team, you would be well respected . That ’ s why I said that once you have worn Nigeria ’ s jersey , thank God .
Were you a victim of racism while playing in Asia and Europe ?
Racism is a global issue , we shouldn ’t limit it to Europe or America. When your skin colour is not the same with those whom you are with , it may likely happen. Well , in my own case , I simply ignored it . I remember when Stum Graz played against Spartak Moscow , I was being booed by their fans , even though they had an African playing for them . Trust me , I just ignored them and went on to the pitch to do my thing.
What ’s your take on overseas – born players dominating the Eagles , while the NPFL players hardly get a look in ?
Well , all I would say here is that it is up to the coach and national team handlers. When we were in the Eagles , if you are good enough , whether overseas – based or local, you will play . That ’s Clemens Westerhof for you. That man is a genius . He knows how to spot the talents within the local league . Any player worthy of wearing the Eagles shirt , so far he’ s good , it ’ s only fair for the coach to give such player a chance . So, overseas – born players are welcome . NPFL players are also good for the eagles.
As a product of Igbobi College , Lagos , did the school influence your decision to become a footballer ?
Well , I did not really spend much time at Igbobi and also , I never had the opportunity of playing in the Principal ’ s Cup . You know , Igbobi is a boys- only school. I played with the guys in Form 3 then , even though I was in junior class before I left . I went there when they were wearing khaki as uniform. My father detested it . He said he didn’ t want me with khaki boys . Inside Igbobi , there are about three other schools . My father worked at Igbobi hospital , so he was aware of what went on in school. He made me leave and go to another school too early. Back then , my father never allowed me to play football. This was why I did not play in the Principals Cup , where many players were discovered for the league and national teams .
Are you thinking of becoming a coach ?
As much as I love football, I fear to venture into coaching . Those guys ( coaches) are really trying . As a coach , you carry the burden of millions of people, the fans. When your team loses , the fans descend on you . When you win, it ’ s momentary . I prefer to do other football- related things , not coaching . Look at national teams and clubs coaches ; they are always on the edge . This is because their job has to do with people’ s passion and emotion. Coaches are very strong- minded individuals . I hail those who are into it .
Your former team 3SC missed promotion to the NPFL last season …
( Cuts in ) It ’s not the club ’ s fault. NNL ’ s last games were in December 2019 and that was just after five games . Nobody can hold anyone responsible for what has happened . Like I said earlier, the blood of 3SC runs in me . I would have loved it if we returned to the NPFL but as it stands, we have to go back and plan for next season . I believe in 3 SC , hopefully they will return to the NPFL next season .

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Why we dropped Uzoho, Akpeyi for friendlies – Agu

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images 2020 09 28T102506.330 Why we dropped Uzoho, Akpeyi for friendlies – Agu

Super Eagles goalkeeper trainer Alloy Agu says Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Daniel Akpeyi ’ s inactivity and the gradual return of Francis Uzoho from injury was the major reason why the three goalkeepers were left out of the 25 -man squad for next month ’ s clash against Algeria and Tunisia in Austria .
Eagles coach , Gernot Rohr , called up Dele Alampasu, Mattew Yakubu and Sparta Rotterdam ’ s Maduka Okoye in their places.
The dropped keepers were part of the Eagles ’ squad to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations , where the team finished third .
Akpeyi has been out of action since he was stretchered off in Kaizer Chiefs ’ ABSA Premier League clash against Bidvest after a nasty collision .
The injury ruled out the 33 – year – old for three weeks before the Eagles squad list was announced, while Uzoho, who copped an anterior cruciate ligament last October , is yet to make an official appearance for APOEL Nicosia since he joined the club .
Ezenwa on his part , has been inactive over six months after the Nigeria Professional Football League was suspended and later called off due to COVID – 19 .
“ In Europe , there have been competitions and games going on, while the NPFL is yet to commence due to coronavirus , Agu.
“ Same with the Premier Soccer League in South Africa where Daniel Akpeyi plays , the league just ended .
“ Uzoho as well is just returning to full fitness after a long injury lay off and we are watching him . He still needs some time to get back into shape and we are watching him .
“ Definitely , he is still part of the team .
“ Alampasu and Yakub have been active for their respective teams and that earned them places in the team. ”

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Chelsea transfer roundup: Blues to step up Declan Rice chase as PSG join Jorginho hunt

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images 2020 09 28T072458.023 Chelsea transfer roundup: Blues to step up Declan Rice chase as PSG join Jorginho hunt

With the transfer window closing across Europe in a week’s time, the clock is ticking for Chelsea to make any further additions to their squad.


The Blues have spent more than £200million this summer on the likes of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell and Hakim Ziyech, also bringing in Thiago Silva, Edouard Mendy and Malang Sarr.

Frank Lampard is believed to be in the hunt for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, although the Chelsea boss needs to offload a few players in order to finance a move.

We look at all the latest transfer news surrounding the west London club.

West Ham in for Rudiger

Antonio Rudiger’s future at Stamford Bridge is unclear after the signing of Thiago Silva this summer, and The Sun reports that West Ham are eyeing up a shock loan move.

The Germany international has yet to feature for the Blues this season and was left out of the matchday squad entirely for Saturday’s draw at West Brom.

Now he is seeking an escape route, and West Ham – who have been unsuccessful in pursuits of Chris Smalling and Rob Holding – have turned to the former Roma man

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Liverpool transfer roundup: Reds told Kylian Mbappe price as defender race ramps up

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download 15 1 Liverpool transfer roundup: Reds told Kylian Mbappe price as defender race ramps up

Liverpool may be Premier League champions, but Jurgen Klopp has spent the summer transfer window reinforcing his squad to ensure they are even stronger than last season.


The Reds have brought in Thiago Alcantara, Diogo Jota and Kostas Tsimikas, but more new names could arrive at Anfield ahead of the window closing on October 5.

Klopp is currently facing a mini injury crisis, with Thiago and Alisson doubtful for Monday’s game against Arsenal, and Jordan Henderson and Joel Matip both sidelined.

As well weighing up whether he needs to bring in reinforcements, the Liverpool boss might also look to offload one or two fringe players over the next week.

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