TWO former Super Eagles’ greats, Taribo West and Victor Ikpeba stormed Nanka for official unveiling of Vemard Africa FC for Nationwide League.
The epic event took place at Neros Sports Stadium, Nanka in Orumba-North Local Government Area of the state.
Venard FC, which was founded four years ago (2016) by its Chairman, Chidi Okonkwo, has recently moved to Neros Stadium, Nanka that will serve as its permanent base for all their training and home matches.
Flamboyant West, now a Pastor in an interview said: “I am delighted to be here and happy to see these young team that has great potential in soccer, who will not only represent Anambra State, but can in the middle of their careers be exposed to national teams and professional careers overseas.
“If we can get people from different sectors to see this kind of event, there will be a lot of changes in Nigeria. I pray it becomes an annual event because we are happy with all we have seen here today,’’ he said.
Describing the friendly game between Enyimba of Aba and Vemard as fantastic, the football legend added, “in spite of Enyimba’s pedigree as a big club, Vemard boys performed excellently,’’ noting, “it will be hard for any opponent to defeat them in this stadium.
He adds: “coming here with Ikpeba is a great boost to the boys. We are working with the chairman; we have seen good talents.
“We will bring scout out here to help some of them to go for International footballing careers overseas.’’
West also noted that the government could also develop sports by “picking and sending coaches for training programmes overseas to acquire more knowledge, then come back to impart what they have learnt into our young talents here.
“There is need for Government to invest more on facilities too,’’ he said.
According to him, I think if this is done, Nanka will not only be a hub of sporting talents in Anambra state, but Nigeria as; it will be a wonderful place where our sports will be one of the best in the world to reckon with.
West also expressed gratitude to Ndi Nanka for warm reception accorded him and his colleague.
“The hospitality from Igwe Godwin Ezeilo and the people of Nanka is incredible,’’ he added.
The Chairman of Venard Africa FC, Okonkwo said: “Founding of the club is based on a vision from God and is something I want to use to add value to youths of Anambra and nearby states; having been chairman of top football clubs in Africa and overseas.
“It’s an answer to the `Aku Luo Uno’ campaigns of Anambra State Government,’’ he said.
“The club aims to provide both national and international opportunities for players in the course of their footballing careers and advancement.
“The boys are still `work in progress’ and playing Enyimba, the current best club in Nigeria and one of the best in Africa is not easy.
“They play with passion, courage and most importantly have fun on the pitch.
“I am grateful to Igwe Ezeilo, Polycarp Emenike (Odenigbo Nanka), who single-handedly built the stadium and Nanka people in general. They accepted me and embraced the club as their own.
“My heart is gladdened seeing the crowd and for their support.”
Nanka traditional monarch Igwe Ezeilo said: “My heart is filled with joy and gratitude to God for making Nanka the centre of this great event.
“Having Taribo West and Ikpeba, ex-International stars come here is a motivation force to the Vemard players.’’
The team played 1-1 draw with Enyimba.
Earlier, Austine Chinwendu, coach of Vemard said: “We are unveiling the club here in Nanka, we want to make this place our permanent base.
“We will be playing in the Nationwide League and all the clubs in our group will be playing us here.
“We have tremendous facilities here, we met a lot of fabulous things on ground, I am really impressed. We will be welcoming many scouts and agents from Europe here,’’ he said.
Earlier, Nanka Allstars took on Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Anambra Chapter, beating them, 4-0.
The event also featured performances by Musician Slow Dog and others.
– Feb. 18, 2020 @ 18:15 GMT |