- By Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor, Abuja
The Nigeria Volleyball Federation (NVBF) led by Engr Musa Nimrod has expressed with delight the achievement recorded since they took over the helm of affairs. In a statement by the federation on Monday, they noted that among the teams assembled, two national U19 boys’ teams went ahead to win the African Championship title successively.
The NVBF said the federation has created teams that triumphed in Africa tourneys.
The Nimrod-led NVBF board highlighted that aside from producing teams in other categories, they are grooming prospective players who would play on the international stage.
The statement tagged, ‘Developmental Programs’, read: “Since the inception of the Engineer Musa Nimrod led Nigeria Volleyball Federation (NVBF) board, Nigeria have produced two National U19 Boys Team winning the African U19 Boys title back to back.
“Nigeria is on the verge of producing another National U19 Boys Team. They’ll participate in next month’s African U19 Boys Nations Championships in Morocco.
“Nigeria have produced a National U18 Girls team that finished second place at the last U18 Nations Championships held in Abuja but could not make it to the FIVB U18 Girls Championship in Mexico.
“New sets of National U19 Girls, U21 Girls and U21 Teams are in the making and hopefully produce players that will play professionally outside the shores of the country.
“It is our prayers that these teams succeed at their various African Championships later this month,” the NVBF said.
Meanwhile, the head coach of the Nigeria U21 Boys’ Team, Sani Mohammed has vowed that the squad will make a bold statement at the forthcoming African U21 Boys’ Nations Championships in Tunisia.
Mohammed hinged his confidence on the players who he said are aware of what is at stake for them.
“These set of players are ready to make a bold statement at the African U21 Boys Nations Championships in Tunisia,” the coach stated.
“They played at the last U19 Nations Cup and won; now it is time for them to prove themselves at the U21 Championship,” Mohammed reiterated.
The national U21 coach, who was appointed recently to pilot the U21 boys’ team to a continental triumph in this month’s African U21 Boys Nations Championships, stressed that the players with varying abilities know that their mission in Tunis is to qualify for the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) U21 Boys Championship.
He claimed that most of Nigeria’s opponents in the event are afraid because of the players’ pedigree over time.
Mohammed continued: “All the players have their own abilities, they know that the only mission we have in Tunisia is to qualify for the FIVB U21 Boys Championship.
“I know most African teams are afraid of this team because of their pedigree; the players have been consistent and in top form for the last three years,” he added.
However, Mohammed while dismissing the notion that the players are under pressure, revealed that he has instructed them to play to the best of their abilities and must endeavour to stick to the game plans.
“My boys are not under pressure; I have told them to play their various games but the most important thing is to play according to instruction”, he added,” said Mohammed.
Furthermore, the U21 boys’ coach commended Musa Nimrod-led NVBF board for sustaining the age-grade volleyball.
“want to applaud this current board led by Engineer Musa Nimrod for believing in continuity,” Mohammed said.
“If the age grade volleyball is hugely invested in, I want to assure you that Nigeria will produce more than four senior national teams.
“I was with the U19 and I attended two African and World U19 Championships. It means that the younger players of this country stand a chance of playing through the age grades before featuring in the senior national team.
The African U21 Boys Nations Championships is scheduled from 12th to 23rd August, 2022, in Tunis, Tunisia.