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Nigerian 15 Years Old Youngster Narrates Why He Abandoned Home At An Early Age To Pursue Career In Football – Latest Sports and Football News in Nigeria

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This is Uche Ifeanyi, a 15-year-old who left his parents in Akure, Ondo state as little child to live with his coach, Ademola Abana in Ekiti.

He is flamboyant, talented, commanding presence and leadership on the field cannot go unnoticed.

A solid youngster in the centre of the pitch with his discipline combined his talent, distinguished him from other regular academy teams’ captains.

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He is a defensive midfielder and the current captain of Ekiti-based Agbana Football Academy, he has led his team to many youth championships glory with the most recent one being the maiden edition of the U-18 Ekiti Obas Cup which his team won in May this year.

Ifeanyi described himself as an Abia state indigene, born in Akure, Ondo state. A lover of football since he first set his foot on the ball when he was just four and he has not relent since then in his quest of becoming a professional football.

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He spoke to Sports247 Nigeria in an exclusive interview about his life, how his footballing career began and what is next for going forward.

Can you briefly tell us about yourself?

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“My name is Uche Ifeanyi, a 15-year-old first year student of Crown Polytechnic. I am originally from Abia state but I was born and brought up in Akure, Ondo state. I mostly live in Ekiti nowadays with my coach.”

When did you start .ing football?

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“I think I began .ing when I was just a 4-year-old little kid then and that’s how my football journey began.

Are you parents supportive of what you are doing?

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“Absolutely yes(laugh)! It was even my biological father that brought me my first full football kits when I was 10y/o but my current coach, Ademola Agbana has been sponsor and guidance since then. He is just like a father to me, he has done more than my parents did.”

You mentioned earlier that you are a student, How do you cope combining academics with football?

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“Sports with education bring out more success and that has been the music my coach always sings and in my team we are mandated and encouraged to go to school.”

What do you have to say about difficulties upcoming .ers tend to face before making it professionally?

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“Yeah! Actually t.’s a lot but patience and humility help in absorbing most of those challenges.

Foremost, the main challenge from my own end is lack of encouragement especially from the parents because most of them see their kids dedicating time for football as a sign of unseriousness and a waste of time.

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Secondly, It is the lack of exposure of .ers in the grassroots. T. are many talents in the grassroots they are capable of excelling like their counterparts in the western countries but without exposure, those talents dry off and most of them eventually quit football.

And lastly, the government has failed in implementing several policies that will help in the development of football in the country. Their only focus is the national team while they leave grassroots football, sports in general which is the basis for a country to have a good sports sector and precious and potential world class .ers to waste.”

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You captained your team to victory at the maiden edition of the Ekiti Obas Cup 2 months ago, what do you have to say about the achievement?

“Actually, it was God throughout and a team work, also our attitude towards listening and yielding to our coach instructions.

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I am very happy as the captain that my teammates do listen to my instructions and we have been achieving greatness since then.

Winning the trophy? I’m excited about that and I think I will call it grace.”

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As an academy footballer, which footballer did you choose as your role model?

“I love Paul pogba but I take Bruno Fernandez as my idol because he’s so creative and scores goals also. Both feet are strong and he .s with zeal.”

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Can you tell us your achievement(s) since you started .ing football?

“I have a lot of achievements, I have represented the southwest region in a national tournament twice.

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And my teammates and I also won a European ticket to . in Denmark which will commence later this year. I am also under scholarship through football and other things that I have achieved.”

Finally, what are your plans going forward?

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“Certainly, I’m going to . football professionally, I still have a lot of time ahead of me and I’m developing myself to become a better .er.

My plan is to . football in Europe especially in the English Premier League and hopefully represent the Super Eagles of Nigeria one day,” the youngster concluded.

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Uche Ifeanyi captained his team to victory at the Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria (YSFON) tournament, which guaranteed his club ticket to compete in Denmark later in the year.



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