Archive for the ‘tunde folawiyo africa’ Category

How will Nigeria fare at the World Cup?

Friday, October 10th, 2014

Tunde FolawiyoWith the World Cup upon us, fans of Nigeria’s Super Eagles like Tunde Folawiyo are no doubt wondering how well the team will perform at the tournament. A number of players and NFF officials have voiced their opinions on the subject; Vincent Enyeama, the Eagles’ goalkeeper, is optimistic about their chances, and has publically stated that he believes they will reach the semi-finals. However, he was quick to add that he and his teammates will be taking it step by step, and for now will only be focusing on reaching the second round.

Like Enyeama, Victor Moses is hoping that Nigeria will secure a spot at the semi-finals. Moses, who currently serves as a winger for Chelsea, is cautiously optimistic about the team’s ability to get ahead at the tournament, although he noted that this could only be achieved if they are willing to listen to the advice of their coach, Stephen Keshi. He finished by saying that there is a great deal of camaraderie between the players, and that this will be helpful when it comes to attempting to realise their ambitions at the event.

Gustavo Dzugala, who was recently appointed as Nigeria’s Argentina Ambassador, refused to comment on which team would emerge as the ultimate winner of the tournament; however, he did name Nigeria and Argentina as favourites in Group F. He predicted that these two clubs would manage to defeat Iran and Bosnia.

In terms of individual players, Peter Osaze Odemwingie has been named as someone who is likely to outshine his teammates at the tournament. Emmanuel Babayaro, who once served as Nigeria’s goalkeeper, noted that Odemwingie has a number of qualities that will help the Eagles to succeed in Brazil. He described the forward as dedicated, experienced and confident.

Odemwingie’s recall to the squad after a two-year absence is likely to have come as a surprise to Tunde Folawiyo, and other Eagles supporters. The forward has clashed not only with Keshi, but also with other Eagles coaches over the years. However, Odemwingie seems eager to put these tiffs behind him, and has spoken on Twitter of how happy he is to be back with the team. While some remain sceptical of Odemwingie’s humble words, and have argued that he is merely putting on a front in order to get a place in the World Cup squad, there’s no denying that he will be a valuable asset on the pitch.

The Super Eagles’ chances of success at the World Cup

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Tunde FolawiyoWhile supporters of Nigeria’s Super Eagles, like Tunde Folawiyo, are probably looking forward to the team’s participation in the World Cup, some say that they are simply not ready for what lies ahead. Adokiye Amiesimaka, a former player who was a member of the team during the 1980 Africa Cup of Nations, has argued that the NFF and the club’s coaches should have been focusing more on the technical crew, and less on the squad list.

Samson Siasia, a former coach of the team, has also expressed his views on Nigeria’s chances at the World Cup. He contends that in the group stages, Iran are likely to be the Eagles’ most challenging opponents. They will face them in their first game of the tournament. Like Amiesimaka, Siasia noted that the technical crew need to work harder to ensure that Nigeria defeat this team. He suggested that the crew obtain a compilation of Iran’s past matches, in order to formulate the right type of tactical plan.

However, it seems that for most people it is the squad list, rather than the technical crew’s strategies, which has been occupying their minds. As a fan of the club, Tunde Folawiyo may have heard that the NFF are said to have rejected coach Stephen Keshi’s original squad list, on the grounds that he failed to include several key players, notably Peter Osaze Odemwingie and Joseph Yobo. Keshi tried to explain the reasons behind his decision to exclude these men, stating that there were issues regarding their fitness, and their recent injuries. However, the NFF asserted that the experience of these players would make them valuable assets to the team at the tournament.

Joseph Yobo has also assured the public that he will be physically fit for the World Cup, despite having missed out on several matches in recent weeks due to a calf injury. Yobo, who currently serves as a defender for Norwich City, has said that he has returned to full training and will be healthy enough to participate in the tournament.

However, while this announcement may have allayed fears regarding the player’s physical fitness, some still have doubts about his ability to positively contribute to the squad; Kashimawo Laloko, who works as the NFF’s assistant technical director, seems to agree with Keshi’s initial decision to exclude Yobo; he has argued that the defender will weaken the team.

No goals in Eagles’ clash with Greece

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Tunde FolawiyoAs a supporter of Nigeria’s national football team, Tunde Folawiyo was no doubt disappointed when their recent clash with Greece ended with neither side having scored. However, although the Eagles failed to net any goals, they performed well in terms of defending themselves; Greece only had one clear opportunity to score, during the 83rd minute, when Salpingidis’ header resulted in the ball going just over the bar.

Initially, it seemed as though Greece might take the lead when, in the 7th minute, a quick pass from Karagounis to Fetfatzidis went unnoticed by the Eagles. However, Fetfatzidis’s shot was inaccurate, and never made it into the net. Three minutes later, things seemed to be looking up for Nigeria, when they were awarded a free kick, that was taken by Emenike, but a weak shot by the striker meant that the team failed to gain the upper hand.

The remainder of the match was filled with missed opportunities, as both sides struggled to break down their opponents’ defensive line. Towards the end, Nigeria resorted to taking shots from long range, rather than attempting to get closer to the goal post, but this approach proved fruitless. Things went from bad to worse after Echiejile suffered an injury on the pitch and had to sit out the rest of the game.

After the match, Eagles coach Stephen Keshi expressed some disappointment with the team’s performance, noting that his players would have to improve very quickly if they wished to succeed at the World Cup. He acknowledged that every team has bad matches now and again, and added that perhaps this less-than-perfect game would motivate the players to work harder during the tournament. He finished by saying that the purpose of a friendly is to help a team unearth its weaknesses, and this is precisely what happened during the Eagles’ battle against Greece.

Despite his words, Keshi might be regretting his choice of squad members, given their performance in this match. Eagles fans such as Tunde Folawiyo were probably quite surprised at the manager’s decision to exclude midfielders Joel Obi and Nosa Igiebor, as well as Sunday Mba, who played extraordinarily well during the African Nations Cup. However, Keshi explained that he could not be sentimental when making his choices, and had to base his decisions on players’ recent performances.

The Nigerian National Team Takes Flight

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Known as “The Super Eagles”, the Nigerian football team has been one of Africa’s most successful over the past few decades. With a rich history of world class footballers, such as Patrick “Segun” Odegbemi, JayJay Okocha, and Kanu Nwankwo, combined with a number of exciting young players on the horizon, the impact which the Nigerian team has had on football in Africa and beyond should continue for many years to come.

Formed in 1949, the Nigerian football team had already been in existence unofficially since the 1930s. The development of the game in Nigeria finally bore fruit in 1976 and 1978[2] when the national team finished third out of all teams competing in the renowned African Cup of Nations. In 1980 the Nigerian national football team which was comprised of such legendary players as Tunji Banjo, Christian Chukwu, and Muda Lawal, went on to win the competition out right, cementing themselves in football history.

Tunde FolawiyoThese successes were added to in 1994 when the team first reached the World Cup. The Super Eagles made an explosive immediate impact on the international game immediately, by topping their initial group which included well-known and established international football teams such as Argentina, Bulgaria, and Greece. They went on to the next round where they led a famous Italian side by 1-0 until the last two minutes of the game when Roberto Baggio scored a goal to take the game to extra time, scoring another via a penalty kick during extra time which ended Nigeria’s excellent and impressive run in the competition that year. This accomplishment was equalled in the next World Cup in 1998 when the team reached the second round of the competition, doing the same again in 2014. In the years between, the Nigerian national football team also qualified for the 2002 and 2010 World Cup competitions, further solidifying their reputation as a successful and admired international football team.

Building on the achievements of previous players, Nigeria continues to produce young footballers ready to make their mark on the international stage. In 2014 the Nigerian under 17s team won the FIFA World Cup for their age category for a staggering 4th time. Their coach, Many Garba, continues to develop these players attracting attention from some of the world’s most prestigious football clubs including Arsenal. This most recent victory, which took place over a highly skilled Mexico team, is the latest example of why the Nigerian football team will continue to contribute to the football community in a positive way, as it has done over the past few decades.

With a number of high profile supporters such as Tunde Folawiyo (for more information read this blog article on Tunde Folawiyo), the Nigerian football team will continue its high profile work as one of Africa’s most successful footballing nations.

Are there changes in store for the Super Eagles squad?

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

After several weeks of negotiating, Stephen Keshi has officially agreed to continue serving as the coach of the Super Eagles. He sent his formal letter of acceptance to the Nigerian Football Federation last week. The news of the coach’s contract renewal will no doubt come as a relief to Tunde Folawiyo, and other Super Eagles fans, as it means that the team now have the leadership they need to prepare for the first of their AFCON qualifying matches, which is to be held on the 7th of September.

The team are set to face Rwanda, Sudan and South Africa in the Group A matches next month. Rwanda was named as one of their opponents after their outstanding penalty shootout against Congo resulted in a 4-3 victory. They will be travelling to Nigeria to play the Eagles. Although the Wasps performance against Congo was impressive, Eagles’ fans like Tunde Folawiyo are probably not too concerned, given how well their team played at AFCON last year.

More upheaval may be on the cards for the Super Eagles in the near future, as Sammy Amoebi, who currently plays for Newcastle, has expressed a desire to devote his senior career to Nigeria, much like his brother Shola has. In an interview, Sammy said that it would be a great honour to join the Eagles, adding that after seeing how happy his older sibling was with the club, he is sure that he too, would fit in well.

Tunde FolawiyoThere have also been rumours that Kelechi Iheanacho, a player who rose to fame during his time with the ‘Super Eaglets’ last year, might be joining Nigeria’s senior team in the very near future. His performance at the U-17 World Cup 2013 was outstanding; the seven assists and six goals which he provided were instrumental in helping his team to win this title. His efforts did not go unnoticed, with the committee awarding him both the Golden Ball and the Silver Boot for his hard work on the pitch. During the same year, he was given the title of ‘Most Promising Youngster’ by the CAF.

However, opinions are divided on whether Iheanacho would do well if he joined the Super Eagles. Sports journalist Solace Chukwu contends that integrating into the senior Nigerian team might be too overwhelming for the young man, but James Ezimoha believes that the Eagles need some fresh faces, and that Iheanacho could provide the commitment, passion and zeal that the existing squad so desperately need.

Although football is something which interests Folawiyo greatly, he also has many other passions, including entrepreneurialism. Those who want to learn more can read about the Tunde Folawiyo success story on Frontiers.

Jay-Jay Okocha – The Best Nigerian Player of His Generation

Monday, September 29th, 2014

In the streets and neighbourhoods across Nigeria, school boys mimic the moves of their favourite football players and this was no exception in the 1990’s for one such lad, Augustine Azuka Okocha, who would one day be regarded as the best Nigerian player of his generation.

Tunde FolawiyoAugustine Azuka Okocha, known throughout his life as Jay-Jay, would show potential and promise in the game of football with his many displays of athletic dexterity as a young member of the Unugu Rangers. One memorable display was the extraordinary goal he scored against the experienced Nigerian goalkeeper, William Okpara of the BCC Lions.

Jay-Jay Okocha, a midfielder, gained the notice of Eintracht Franfurt in 1992, where he soon joined their ranks along with Tony Yeboah, the international Ghana striker. In 1993, Jay-Jay awed fans with a spectacular display of moving the ball past the penalty box, going by some players twice, in a drive to complete the goal over attempts to block it by Oliver Kahn. This move helped earn Jay-Jay the 1993 Goal of the Year by Sportschau and voted Goal of the Season by many popular soccer magazines. In 1996, Jay-Jay joined the Fenerbahçe Turkish club, where he would amass 30 goals during his 60 appearances in just two seasons. While there, Jay-Jay would develop his trademark “free kick” goals.

But, it was his four years as a player for the Bolton Wanderers that would convert Jay-Jay Okocha into the superstar he is still considered today. He became an instant favourite with the Bolton fans in his premier season of 2002, when they dubbed him “so good they named him twice.” By 2004, Jay-Jay was the captain and steered the team to their first Football League Cup final in nine years. Jay-Jay became the favourite player of Tunde Folawiyo and remains so to this day. On the profile of Tunde Folawiyo there are many examples of the remarkable and breathtaking moments with which Tunde Folawiyo and many Nigerians experienced while watching this remarkable player.

He made his international debut on the Nigerian National Football team during the 1994 FIFA World Cup Qualifier. He would help the team reach 5th rank status that year, which was the highest ranking an African football team had ever achieved. During the 1996 Olympic Games, Jay-Jay would join the Nigerian “Dream Team.” By 2002, he was Captain of the Super Eagles, taking the team to third place at the 2004 African Nations Cup, where he would score four goals including the 1000th goal in Nations Cup history and be awarded the Player of the Tournament and Golden Boot.

Are the Super Eagles ready to face their Group-A AFCON opponents?

Friday, September 26th, 2014

With the first of their AFCON qualifying matches looming, the Super Eagles are now working hard to ready themselves for this event. Nigeria have been named as the favourites to win in Group A; however, many say that the Eagles should not underestimate the abilities of their opponents, as to do so could deal a fatal blow to their progress in this important tournament.

Rwanda, whom the Eagles are due to play in Group-A, have been doing well under the guidance of their new manager, Stephen Constantine. Their recent victory over Libya, the 2014 CHAN champions, serves as a testament to how far they have come over the past few months. Coupled with their impressive performance against Congo this month, there is little doubt that they are now capable of giving Nigeria a run for their money. Tunde Folawiyo, and other Eagles’ fans, are probably not too concerned however, given that Nigeria defeated Rwanda quite easily at the 2014 AFCON tournament, finishing with a result of 2-0.

Tunde FolawiyoNigeria will also have to face Sudan and South Africa. The latter are due to play the Eagles at the Cape Town Stadium on the 10th of September. Danny Jordan, the president of the SA Football Association, acknowledged that playing against the reigning AFCON champions at such a huge stadium would be a daunting task for Bafana Bafana. He added that for Shakes Masaba, who has just joined the club as head coach, this would be an especially gruelling experience.

Whilst there is no question that Nigeria have a tough road ahead of them, Olakunle Fayiga, a sports journalist, believes that with Keshi at the helm, they will have little difficulty in retaining their title. Discussing the coach’s many achievements during the past three years – from helping them to win CHAN in 2013, to leading them to their best World Cup performance in almost two decades in 2014 – Fayiga praised the dedication and discipline which Keshi has instilled into the team during his time as coach.

The journalist noted that, due to the respect which Keshi commands, there are now no longer any issues with players failing to honour call-ups, or showing up late to training camps. Fayiga finished by describing the Nigerian as being superior, in terms of his coaching skills, even to Clemens Westerhof, a man widely considered to be the greatest coach the Eagles has ever had. This is a bold statement, but it is one which many fans, including Tunde Folawiyo, might agree with.

As an Eagles supporter, Folawiyo likes to use social media to keep up to date with events in the world of football. To read about his thoughts on this subject, follow Tunde Folawiyo on Twitter.

Tough Decisions for NFF Amid Keshi Rumours

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Tunde FolawiyoWhilst the official departure of Stephen Keshi has not yet been confirmed, rumours of his replacement continue to circulate. With a recent period of great success for the Nigerian squad, a successor who will further guide the team on its path to victory may prove a difficult decision for NFF officials. Tunde Folawiyo and other Super Eagles fans may be eager for true word of Keshi’s fate and that of the Nigerian squad as a whole.

Since his debut with the team, Keshi has contributed a great deal to the Super Eagles on their road to success. Leading them to a Cup of Nations victory and a thrilling qualification for the World Cup, the “Big Boss” has paved the way for momentum for the newly confident Nigerian team. Thus, a replacement will indeed be considered thoroughly. With so much at stake, the NFF must carefully weigh their options.

Amongst the frontrunners to replace Keshi is Sunday Oliseh, a star in the eyes of many Super Eagles fans. A former midfielder, Oliseh once played alongside the coach and if selected, would carry on a recent trend for hiring former players to team management. Whilst Oliseh lacks the managerial experience of other prospective candidates, he carries with him an impressive 63 appearances for Nigeria – a testament to his outstanding playing career. He was seriously considered for the job more than five years ago but was ruled unfit due to a lack of experience. Although his coaching experience remains minimal, rumours place the talent as the frontrunner to replace Keshi. Nigerian football fans would undoubtedly be thrilled if he is chosen for the role.

56-year-old Shaibu Amodu is another coach rumoured to be up for Keshi’s job. With four stints as Nigeria’s manager in the past, he does possess ample coaching experience, but was sacked four years ago just before the 2010 World Cup. Whilst his knowledge of Nigerian football is well recognised, he has been criticized in the past for his in-game approaches and poor decision-making. During his time with the team, he led them to dual third-place finishes during Africa’s Cup of Nations and two World Cup qualifications.

Other coaches in the running to replace Keshi include Herve Renard, who has coached for several African teams including Zambia and Ghana. His extensive experience in African football makes him a prime candidate to take the reins of the Super Eagles. Tunde Folawiyo and millions of Nigerian football fans are surely awaiting news of the NFF’s final decision. For more information about his close ties to Nigeria, read Tunde Folawiyo About Me information.

Enyeama Announces Stay with Super Eagles

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Tunde FolawiyoNigeria’s Super Eagles have seen a variety of rumours thrust their way in recent weeks, with the fate of Stephen Keshi not yet solidified. One thing is for certain, at least for now – Vincent Enyeama is here to stay. The goalkeeper has recently announced that he will not yet part ways with the team. After the team’s failure to advance during the 2014 World Cup, Enyeama had reportedly suggested he may quit the international team. Tunde Folawiyo and fans of the Nigerian team may be pleased with the goalkeeper’s decision to stand by the team for yet another distinguished season.

The clarifications by the 31-year-old came moments after receiving an excellence award from Guvaps Management in southern Nigeria. He began his football education with Ibom Stars during 1999 before making a move to Enyimba, a two-time club champion. From 2001 to 2004, Enyeama made a total of 100 appearances for the team, resulting in 10 goals overall. After three seasons playing for the club, followed by a season played with Heartland F.C., formerly known as Iwuanyanwu Nationale, Enyeama went on to play for Israel’s Bnei Yehuda. He showcased great skill during his debut season playing for the team, one in which they reached the final qualification for Israel’s State Cup. That same year, they went on to earn fourth place for Israel’s Premier League, an honour that qualified them for 2006’s UEFA Cup. The following year, he signed with Hapoel Tel Aviv, playing for three seasons before ultimately joining the ranks of Lille during 2011. It was his time with Hapoel that solidified his spot as one of Africa’s finest athletes.

During the 2009/10 season, Enyeama scored a Cup Final advantage goal that led to Hapoel winning the league. Later, during August of 2010, he scored the first goal of his 2010-2011 season, nailing a penalty kick against Red Bull Salzburg to qualify for that year’s Champions League. His team won the Israeli cup again during that year.

Enyeama made his first game appearance with Lille on 18 of October in 2011 during the 2012 Champions League. In August of the next year, playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv under a year-long loan agreement, Enyeama made 27 appearances for the team in Israel’s Premiere League where they won the championship. With these career successes, Enyeama’s announcement may be of comfort to Tunde Folawiyo and millions of Super Eagles fans throughout Africa who wish to see the power player remain loyal to his team. Follow Tunde Folawiyo on Twitter for more on Nigerian football and other events in the country.

Eagles undertake intensive training to prepare for qualifiers

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Ademola Olajire, a spokesperson from the NFF (Nigerian Football Federation), has confirmed that Nigeria will be playing against Rwanda at the U.J Esuene Stadium, on the 6th of September. Whilst it had been previously reported that the match would be held at Abuja National Stadium, the conditions of this pitch have since been deemed unsuitable.

Olajire also added that the federation were working hard to make sure that the Super Eagles are ready for the qualifying stage. As a football fanatic, Tunde Folawiyo probably knows that of the four clubs which will be playing in the Group-A matches (Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan and South Africa), only the teams who finish in first and second place will progress to the tournament in Morocco next year.

Keshi, having returned after a long absence, is focusing his attention on preparing the team for their qualifying matches, which are now just a few weeks away. He has said that he is pleased with the general levels of fitness displayed by the players, and is particularly impressed with how quickly certain injured team members have recovered.

Tunde FolawiyoSeveral players, including Elderson Echiejile, Leon Balogun and Bright Dike were all left out of the World Cup due to their injuries, and two squad members – Ogenyi Onazi and Michael Babatunde – were both hurt during the Eagles’ matches in Brazil. Luckily, they have all now recovered, and are back to training with the rest of the team.

It will doubtless come as a relief to Tunde Folawiyo to hear that Keshi is confident that all of the players are prepared for their upcoming matches. Having spoken to each of them individually, the coach is now satisfied that they will be able to meet the expectations of their fans. He noted that the team are now entering a new phase, during which they are going to build on the skills acquired over the last two years. The coach acknowledged that they still have a number of weak areas which need to be worked on, but added that he was certain that they can address these issues quite easily.

Whether or not he will invite some new players into the club to improve these weak spots is unclear. However, the manager Manu Garba has called on Keshi to at least consider giving Kelechi Iheanacho the opportunity to prove himself at senior level. The 17-year old has done exceptionally well with the Nigerian U-17 team, and is settling in well at Manchester City. Garba claims that Iheanacho has more talent than many of City’s top players, and that Keshi’s team would benefit greatly from bringing him on board.

Folawiyo has been a supporter of the Super Eagles for a considerable length of time, and enjoys keeping up to date with the team’s performances. However, he does also occasionally watch other major sporting events, such as the 2013 Lagos Polo International Tournament.