Shift attention to Champions League now, Oduah tells Rangers •Urges sponsors to embrace team

By Victor Enyinnaya on October 26, 2016

Views: 1,512

A Patron of Rangers International and former member of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA), Prince Isidore Oduah, has said the resurgence of the team after 32 years of trophy draught and absence from Africa scene shows the resilient spirit long associated with the team while commending Governor Ifeanyichukwu Ugwuanyi of Enugu State for rekindling the fire.

According to him, the football team is a symbol of strength for all easterners and so has lived to expectations of the founding founders dead and alive. 

He said: “Majority knew the circumstances that led to the formation of Rangers International FC. It would continue to be a rallying point and nothing would prevent it from demonstrating such insight in football and sundry.

“I will continue to say it to whoever cares to listen that the boys that won the title in the 2016 season remains a lesson in character of the foundation Rangers players of the 1970’s. Their displays signified that and it is only those that knew where the team is coming from would vividly attest to such style anchored on compact football. The coach, Imama bought into the idea and made it happen.”

The Financial Secretary of Association of Sports Veterans Nigeria urged the management of the team to cut short the triumphant entry and settle down for onward preparations for the CAF Champions League which only Enyimba International has won in the history of the country. He said: “There must be renewed effort from the government and the team to work assiduously towards achieving great in the African scene.

“No doubt, Governor Ugwuanyi has re-invented Rangers taking the footsteps of Jim Nwobodo who made the team great then. He has shown clout and set the tone for better days to come. I believe as one that was very deep in and out of Rangers FC, this hard earned success if well managed, the flying Antelopes will rule our league for five years.”

Oduah added that as one that either led delegation as NFA member to Rangers continental matches or as the team’s patron, he knew the continental assignment was never a tea party. “It needs painstaking preparations and concentration because the game has grown tremendously over these years. Rangers need focus to stamp their feet firmly on ground not just a flash on the pan kind of performance,” he advised.

“There is no small team in Africa now. This is a wakeup call from an experienced angle whose only stake in Rangers is for its overall good performance after her long absence from African football scene and this resurgence must be confirmed to be a fluke rather it must simulated on with a sound outing. This calls for prudent management of men, material and money on the part of those vested with the responsibility to manage the CAF Champions League for Rangers.

“My take is that men and women of impeccable character that have unquenchable  passion for the game and also have means of livelihood should be appointed to handle it to avoid the usual practice of members using the avenue for self-enrichment that has become the norm in the country today. Champions League is one project Gov. Ugwuanyi and his Commissioner for Sports, Charles Ndukwe who I am sure is from the famous Ndukwe family synonymous with sports in the old Anambra State must strictly tackle head-on without mercy because all blame will fall on them if the team fails abysmally. Many have positioned themselves reap where they did not sow,” he advised.

The former board member Finance and Promotions, Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) suggested that the coach should ensure the team is all round fortified, prepared physically and mentally to live up to the Champions League competitive status.  The technical crew should go further to involve the old Rangers method whereby players are trained to comfortably play against often times over zealous match officials, opponents and fans especially on away grounds. “The game is still evolving fast in the continent but officiating has not marched with the pace the game has developed,” he restates.

“These things would be gradual but steadily imbibed, and at the end of the day, the Coal City team will be better for it. It will not only instill confidence in them but will bring about solid, free and smooth display by the lads. The good thing about this crop of players is that they are hungry for fame and success. I will further suggest that whereby new players would be brought in to beef up the squad, it should be carefully tailored towards ensuring that it won’t generate any bad blood but would rather breed atmosphere of high spirit, team work and over all self-reliance in the team,” he explains.

He observed that “the Governor has helped to fund and motivated the team well but however, I would have liked to see a situation whereby Rangers would find sponsors that would assist in the process of upsetting huge bills that would mount as a result of prosecuting the NPFL and CAF Champions League respectively. I investigated, the wage bill will be too overwhelming on the State government in this recession time. There must be a way to cushion this so that other infrastructures which would benefit the larger citizenry need not suffer unduly for football.

“I will like to use this medium to appeal to corporate concerns and wealthy individuals to cash in on this Rangers rebirth in our football scene and the continent to come in as sponsors of their darling team. The name of the game now is money and the state government alone cannot adequately foot the bill due to the present harsh economic terrain. Would be sponsors should always remember our often slogan that ‘Enyi Rangers, bu Umu Rangers’,” he reasoned.

•Photo shows Prince Isidore Oduah.

Source Daily Sports

Posted October 26, 2016

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