By Bitrus Osagie
The Gombe State Football Association in collaboration with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has begun a two-day training for 102 grassroots coaches in the state.
The training was organised to empower local coaches in the state with modern coaching techniques.
Former Super Eagles Coach, Augustine Eguavoen, the NFF Technical Director and his team paid Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State a courtesy visit before the commencement of the training.
Speaking during the courtesy visit, Yahaya who was represented by his deputy Manassah Jatau commended the coaching crew for coming to enhance the knowledge of coaches in the state.
He said that for a nation to attain true development, the development must be inclusive and cut across all human spheres.
“If a country develops and the social aspects are not there, then it has not developed, but just grown.
“Your coming is timely, and at a time when we needed to go beyond the traditional activities that we know.
“You came to train the trainers. Be assured that Gombe state is ready to partner, support, learn and also criticize as long as it is for our own good,” Yahaya said.
Earlier, coach Eguavoen, former captain of the Super Eagles, said he and his team were in the state to give back to the society what football had given them.
“We know how passionate Nigerians are when it comes to football; coming to Gombe state is like home for me.
“It took us almost 10 hours to get here from Abuja because of the passion we have.
“If we didn’t come, it will be a disservice to the game and the people of Gombe who are enthusiastic and waiting for this seminar,” he said.
Eguavoen said they were in the state to impact knowledge in upcoming coaches in the state, in view of the role coaches play in football development.
“If we have to produce players like those in the past, it is in the hands of these coaches.
“We will be here for another two days; it is an interactive session, preparing their minds for what is ahead.
“We will be sensitising and encouraging them because many are called, but few are chosen.
“It is a profession they are engaged in and they have to do it wholeheartedly,” he said.
Mr Yakubu Sarma, Chairman, Gombe State FA said the training was organised as part of the association’s efforts to develop grassroots football as well as harness football talents in the state.
Sarma said the coaches from NFF and other professionals who are in the state to train the coaches, would impact positively on the grassroots coaches.
“With the abundant potentials in the state, the training would guide the state coaches on how to harness football talents for the national team.”
According to the chairman, no fewer than 102 coaches from Gombe state and some neighbouring states registered for the training.
He said that the theme for training “Unleashing Potentials and Developing Coaches” was apt in view of the football potentials that Gombe state has in Northern Nigeria.
“Gombe state is home to football aside Kano State; we have the highest number of followership and even clubs in different domestic leagues.
“We are the only state now in the Northeast having two clubs in the NPFL for this upcoming season,” Sarma said.
He appreciated Eguavoen and his team for coming to train the coaches adding that it showed that they have passion for the game and patriotic to football development.
Our correspondents reports that former Nigerian International, Garba Lawal was among the NFF technical crew that came to Gombe to facilitate the training for the coaches.