By: Godwin Nathaniel.
Although he is 12,714 kilometres away from Nigeria, in the beautiful city of Tokyo, UEFA B licensed coach, Bolarinwa Obalola via NSM, Nigeria’s foremost Sports platform, offered invaluable advice to the League Management Company (LMC) and NPFL clubs on how to run the affairs of the NPFL.
Speaking from his base in Japan, the coach cited the poor economic state of the league as a big challenge for the league as it has not helped the cause of the players.
“The big problem is that despite the contracts that players have, paying salaries, bonuses still remains a big challenge to the league. A player that cannot get his salary and accruable finances, how do you expect the best from him? We really need to work on this”.
He added that difficulty in giving good kits to players, suitable training ground and good stadium for matches have all contributed in the bad image that the league is getting.
He acknowledged the abundant talents the league churns out every season but said that more must be done to help the players.
Juxtaposing the Japanese J-League and the NPFL, Obalola said Nigeria should adopt a similar model as the Asian country where there is an effective and robust plan that covers the youth teams, development and the lower divisions.
“The Japanese are well-organized and they have put up a plan that spans even up to 10 years, with programmes for the youth, second division. In the next 5-7 years, they would be a force to be reckoned with. Players like Iniesta, Podolski and the many others from are already attracted. It will be even bigger”
“Nigeria must plan. We must put our heads down and address the teething problems we are facing. We must be organized like the Japanese. Clubs should pay salaries, ensure proper welfare and the LMC should roll out a robust blueprint”.
During his footballing days, the Ibadan-born tactician played for Shooting Stars Feeder’s Team, Osun United, Lagos United, Stationary Stores before travelling abroad to play in Oman. In the last 11 years, he has been coaching youth teams in Japan.