By Bassey Inyang in Calabar
The Cross River Sports Commission has provided a Club House, and Camp for Ben Ayade United FC of Calabar currently featuring in Division 2B of the Nigeria National League (NNL).
Chairman of the Commission, Orok Duke announced the package to journalists at the U.J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar, where the team plays its home matches.
Duke made the disclosure after the NNL debutant’s defeated visiting Obingwa FC of Abia State 5 – 0 in their second home match of the NFL season.
According to Duke the facility will enable the Coach Paul Undelikwo-led technical crew to prosecute the team’s campaign in the league.
He said the coaching crew had been mandated to monitor the progress and welfare of the players some of who are in their teens.
Duke expressed the hope that the facility would motivate the team to put in their best and gain of promotion to the next cadre of the NFL.
He noted that the players had so far exhibited qualities which through coordinated encouragement would help to realise the objective of incorporating the club to boost football development in Cross River.
“They are quite young and rookies in the game but you can see that they are gradually gaining confidence as the competition progresses.
“Some of them are within the age bracket of 16 to 18 years and are still in the Senior Secondary Schools or writing the NECO examination,” Duke said.
“It is a deliberate approach to ‘catch them young’, in tandem with the best global practice, such that they mature and blend with the skills to emerge as a formidable club in future,” the sports commission chairman said.
Duke said that by the time the lads stay together and play as a team in a conducive environment they would have been honed to confront opponents with unity of purpose.
“Already, the Commission is very grateful to His Excellency Governor Ben Ayade for his support so far in this deliberate effort of ours to create tomorrow stars today.
“The governor had provided some of the basic requirements in the camp to facilitate this vision and dream”, he said.
Duke also said that as soon as some basic furniture and utensils were in place the team will move into a permanent camp.
“The accommodation is handy except for some minor finishing touches, the team will move in and will be playing the remaining matches from the abode,” Duke said.
Ben Ayade United FC, incorporated early this year by the Sports Commission, had in its first match in the league mauled the SKE FC of Port Harcourt 3 – 0.
The club also defeated the Obingwa FC 5-0 in the Division 2B of the NNL will travel next for the return match with SKE at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in the Garden City.