By John Egbokhan
National junior tennis coach, Mohamed Ubale has said that Nigeriaâ€™s preparations for the Africa Junior Tennis Championship, serving off March 28 in Abuja are on the right track.
Speaking yesterday with Sports Vanguard, Ubale, who preparing the 21 players that Nigeria hope to field at the continental tournament, said that the youngsters are responding to the training retinue which he insists would propel the country to a clean sweep of the gold medals up for grabs in the Federal Capital Territory.
â€œAfter the initial trails in Ado Ekiti, where we selected 16 players from a pool of many talented players, we commenced the first phase of camping in Ekiti, and it was there that we started horning the skills of the players for the tasks ahead.
â€œThough the players showed some flashes of skills, it was still clear that we needed to do more to improve their performance and we employed many tactics to do that but I must admit to you that it was not easy tailoring these players game to our expectations.”
â€œWe later infused the five player who had secured their places at the AJC at the zonal qualifiers in Ghana and that infusion changed a whole lot of things in the camp. By that, I mean, the quality of play in camp improved because these five players, led by Umaru Balami, brought their superior play to bear on that of the others and that made the camp more competitiveâ€, added Ubale, on the telephone line.
He noted that with the intensity of training in camp that Nigeria would surely host to win the tournament, which would be played on the revamped tennis courts of the National Stadium in Abuja.
â€œThe National Sports Commission has invested a lot of funding in to our preparations for this tournament and the only way we can justify this gesture is to repay Nigeria with many gold medals and I believe that the players in camp can make that dream to become a realityâ€, said Ubale.