Congratulations Nigerians, Its been a really long time I’ve written a post but as I have promised to write only if the Super-Eagles of Nigeria wins the African Cup of Nations Final.
A lot of invaluable lessons were learnt by this and I’ll like to share a few with you.
1. Forgetting past failures and moving on: In the build-up to the tournament,we had lots of intrigues owing to our dismal performances in recent competitions including the Olympics and previous competitions. A local coach was appointed(Stephen Keshi) and he had exhibited the mode of moving forward and eyes on the trophy.
2. Setting your goals and sticking to it squarely: Not long after being appointed to the position,he had stated categorically that he wasn’t a respecter of persons most especially his players,he had the goals of building a formidable team that would serve in the long-term line-up of the super eagles.
A test of these was when he insisted on the use of home-based players as against the norm. He was faced with several other challenges before and during the competition but still stuck to his guns.
3. What you need to succeed is inside you: As earlier stated, the super-eagles had been used to out-source most of its players from foreign leagues but he decided to shift the trend by trying his hands in the local players. People like Sunday Mba ( who scored the final goal) is the highest goal scorer in the Nigerian Priemeir league.
4. Listening to criticism and taking it in good faith: Due to his strange faith and way of doing things, he was heavily criticised by all and sundry. Its worthy to note that the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) had called for his resignation after the first 2 games due to what they tagged ‘lack of tactical approach’. He was criticised but in each of his press briefing,he remained indaunted and took all criticism in good faith rather than responding negatively to them.
5. Better to understate and exceed expectations than blow wind-less trumpet: The truth was that I personally didn’t believe something good was coming out of the eagles campaign at the tournament, this was due to the fact that they hadn’t made so much noise as against previous times they had represented the nation. They can be describe as the underdogs and this made them act with less pressure.
6. Don’t be contented with whatever you’ve achieved: With each successive winnings, the Super Eagles got better at their style of play. The knew they had over-impressed haven passed the group stage but kept getting better to which they beat the eagles of Mali 4-1 at the Semi-finals before going on to win the tournament.
7. Who ever said the road to success was easy must be kidding: There isn’t a short-route to success; the training schedule of the players got tighter as they went higher up the competition.
8.Don’t dwell on good-luck or prayers without hard-work: We had predictions, we prayed, we even fasted, we wished them luck but this couldn’t have been enough to give us the trophy,it came with hard-work coupled with passion and perseverance.
9. Success has many fathers; Failure is a bastard: After the win,people who ordinarily wouldn’t have reckoned with the eagles began to share the glory with them. Everyone was proud to be a Nigerian, even those who had been cynical to the team also began to claim acquaintance with the team and praised them rigorously.
10. Leave when the ovation is at its loudest: In the wake of all the euphoria of winning the AFCON competition, the big boss himself (Stephen Keshi) resigned… Hate it or love it,that’s a very superb decision!
Thanks for reading.
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