Football Promoter, Hakeem, out to fortify Wazobia FC

Chairman, Ares Grassroots Football Competition, Aregbe Hakeem, has said his aim of organising the tournament is to develop football in all the Area Councils of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) .

He said he was also looking forward to fortifying the Wazobia Football Club (FC) with grassroots players ahead of the Nationwide League One (NLO) Championship.

Hakeem, in an interview on Thursday in Abuja with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said that his team would be fortified with new talented and experienced players, ahead of the 2022/2023 season.

He said “the need to begin to get new players into the squad has become necessary so that the club can succeed in the upcoming NLO Championship.

“My team has set its eyes on winning the season and would recruit talented and experienced players to achieve its target.

“We need to fortify the team with some talented and experienced players because competing in the league is a higher task that we must be accomplished.

“We will approach the season with zeal and hard work… We will strive to win.“

He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for urging the NFF to work with the Sports Ministry and football stakeholders, to provide Nigeria with a 10-year Football Master Plan that would ensure youth football development, in line with FIFA’s commitment.

“I want to see Nigeria’s football develop and move in a more dynamic trajectory, from football administration to youth and grassroots football, talent hunt and the use of Nigeria’s home-based talents and I want my club to key into this also.

“Grassroots football is a game that seeks to develop football from the local level, involves organising special matches and training clinics for amateurs and nurturing young talents from any given community.

“It also provides exposure for talented players yet to come to limelight. The best players’ at these tournaments often went on to represent Nigeria internationally, at the junior or senior levels.

“If a hitherto unknown player showed enough talent at local football competitions, he could even land a professional club contract.

“This was the golden era of grassroots football in Nigeria that I want to bring back,’’ he said.

He noted that some individuals in Nigeria’s football community believed the death of grassroots football was as a result of the excessive commercialisation of the game.

“Many football experts believe the decline of grassroots football in Nigeria is the reason the country has struggled to produce quality of players, but with what we are working on, poor grassroots football culture will soon become history.

“This will inspire more people to take part and lead to the discovery of more footballing talents. Local clubs are looking on how to groom them to perfection, not to make money off players,” Aregbe said.