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Pastor Taribo’s sermon...Okocha retired too early

Posted by By MODESTUS CHUKWULAKA, Abuja on 2008/07/19 | Views: 3653 |

Pastor Taribo’s sermon...Okocha retired too early

As the world continues to celebrate Austin Jay Jay Okocha, who formally brought his illustrious football career to a close recently, his former Super Eagles’ teammate, Taribo West, believes that the midfield maestro was in a hurry to quit the stage.

• Says, there’s no more replacement structure in Eagles
• Nigeria should learn to celebrate her heroes

As the world continues to celebrate Austin Jay Jay Okocha, who formally brought his illustrious football career to a close recently, his former Super Eagles’ teammate, Taribo West, believes that the midfield maestro was in a hurry to quit the stage.

“I think Jay Jay retired too early. I would have loved him to stay a bit longer in the national team,” stressed the dreadlocks former hard-to-beat defender.

West, who was in Warri to participate in the testimonial match in honour of the retired Super Eagles’ captain, spared no adjectives in eulogising the former Bolton Wanderers’ captain, who held soccer fans spellbound with his immense skills.
He, however, regretted the absence of what he described as a re-generational system, whereby young and upcoming players understudy older ones with a view to taking over when the aged players retire from the national team.

“I think Jay Jay is a player that not only Nigeria, but Africa will miss for a long time. He’s a wonderful man. He has kindhearted and he’s somebody you’ll love to relate with. Jay Jay is a great man both on and off the pitch. He’s the best player I’ve ever seen in my life.

“It’s sad that we don’t have what I would call re-generational system, whereby we need to have younger players understudying the older ones. It’s a bad situation.
“When we were in the national team, we said it many times. Thank God for Clemence Westerhof and Bonfrere Jo, who laid the foundation for that structure in our football.

“You would recall that when Stephen Keshi left the national team, Uche Okechukwu succeeded him and when Okechukwu left, people like us came up and so on. That was why there seemed to be no vacuum in the defence line for many years. But things have since changed because the structure was not maintained.

“Today, we are looking for a replacement for Jay Jay. I don’t think there’s anybody like Jay Jay in the Super Eagles at the moment.

“We can only pray that we find an upcoming player, perhaps, from the current Flying Eagles’ squad or the Under-17 national team. But for now, there’s no player like Jay Jay in the national team.
“Thank God for Shaibu Amodu and Dan Amokachi, who are rebuilding the team now and bringing back the winning spirit, which had been lacking in the national team for quit sometime. I wish them all the best.”

Although the former Inter Milan of Italy rugged defender is impressed with the performance of the new-look Super Eagles, he, however, cautioned the Amodu-led technical crew not to be carried away by the armada of superstars in the team, warning that big names do not win matches, but a team built on discipline do.

“One of the good things in the Nigerian team is that in the forward line, we always have good players. Now you can count on Yakubu, Aiyegbeni, Obafemi Martins, Osaze Odemwingie, Ikechukwu Uche, Victor Anichebe and many others. That will help the team because football is about scoring goals. These young lads can score goals at any moment and it will help our football a lot.”
West commended Super Eagles’ defenders for rising up to the occasion in the aspect of goal scoring when the strikers went to sleep. While pleading with Nigerians to exercise patience with the team, he stressed that things would get better with time.

“Sometimes, goals won’t come from the forward line, it happens in football. Sometimes good defenders like Joseph Yobo can go upfront to score and return to defend the goalpost. It’s a good development, but I believe there would be lots of goals from the team’s attackers with time.
“Everybody should support Super Eagles. I believe that with time, we will have a stable team.”
The footballer-turned pastor, would, however, love to see ex-internationals being better appreciated by the nation they served in their active days.

“If I have my way, I would love to create a structure whereby those who have served this country very well would be appreciated. It’s so painful when you see some of those who have played for this country in the past looking like destitute. Some of them are treated like nobody. It’s so painful. I wouldn’t want that to happen to me or to my son or even to any of the young and upcoming players.
“So, if I have the opportunity today, I would want to re-organise the system and have a programme whereby we would be celebrating those who have served this nation.

“In other countries, people do appreciate their heroes and those that served their nations well. We have to emulate that attitude and celebrate our stars also,” he preached.

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Comments (3)

Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown