As Nigerian players departed Lagos Wednesday for Accra, Ghana to participate in the 2010 African Scrabble championship which began Friday, players and their coach exuded confidence of a prepared team not ready to relinquish the title they won last in Nairobi, Kenya in 2008.
First to speak was coach Victor Owokere who said going by the preparation for the biennial championship, the trophy would return to the country.
“We are going to defend the trophy in Ghana. We’re taking the best, the top 10 players in the country, to the competition. We have defended the trophy back to back on three occasions,”he said.
Defending champion, Wellington Jighere said he doesn’t feel any pressure as defending champion going into the championship as the championship is not all about him but the entire team.
“I feel normal as the defending champion, no pressure at all. I prefer Team Nigeria wins the trophy than myself. If however, I’m the instrument with which Nigeria win it again, better,” he said.
He said that as far as the game is concerned in the continent, “Nigeria rules Africa. I know the standard is high, it is getting better every year but I don’t see the possibility of a non Nigerian winning the championship.”
Former champion, dimunitive Dennis Ikekeregor sounded very optimistic that he would get to the final and like Jighere added “the most important thing for me is that Nigeria wins, it could be through any player.”