NFF Must Give More Attention To Development Of Grassroots Football - Doherty - EDU-BIZNEWS


Wednesday, September 7, 2022

NFF Must Give More Attention To Development Of Grassroots Football - Doherty

David Doherty, a former footballer and ex-Nigerian league star based in 
United Kingdom has strongly stressed the need for Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to give more attention to talent hunt efforts and programmes in grassroots development 

Doherty gave the charge on Tuesday while declaring his intention to contest for the position of NFF president in the forthcoming election of the federation

Doherty, who is stepping forward on the platform of his long standing passion for the round leather game and experience gained from the private corporate sector, says the focus on grassroots football is top on his seven-point vision for the transformation of Nigerian football.

He added that his mission would include better welfare for league players, revival of interest in the domestic league, improved attention for referees, providing avenues for education and giving added incentives to coaches.

While affirming that he has already been endorsed for the forthcoming NFF election by Lagos State Football Association and other necessary affiliates, Doherty, who has strong links with Southampton FC of England, added that he would also give special attention to female football, transformation of the Super Eagles, development of a regular league for feeder teams and improvement of facilities in Nigeria.

The astute player-turned administrator and erudite technocrat of varying values further recounted how he developed actively in football while growing up in Surulere, Lagos, then played for Allen FC of Bariga in several community-based competitions, before making his mark with Concord FC of Abeokuta between 1998 and 1999. 

Based on a deep rooted amount of passion he has developed from several years of his involvement with football, Doherty is now targeting the top seat at Sunday Dankaro House, Abuja, with what he tagged private sector initiative, non-attachment to government, hope for the new generation and desire for a revival of Nigeria's ebbing football culture. 
Doherty added at length: "I believe that I am the right man to become the NFF's next president. That's because I am coming with experience from grassroots football, playing in the domestic league and active participation in Europe, as well as coaching and marketing football in Europe.

"I played in Europe and coached in Europe before moving into administration. I've been running football projects, managing youth development in communities and schools, all in a bid to show that football goes beyond recreation. It is big business.

"It's true that I live in the UK, but that does not mean I'm not in touch with happenings in Nigeria. I always travel back here on a quarterly basis every year. Nigeria is my home and I have a strong passion to remould football in this country. I also have a strong vision to reunite the country through football.

"I can't do it alone, but I know how to motivate all stakeholders to join me in this vision. Let's come together to build Nigerian football better, for a brighter future - through better education, proper empowerment, insurance, health and welfare for players, and unity among the fans. 

"We can reap enormous socio-economic gains from proper administration of the game. We can move forward in every area and all aspects; modernise the sector by using our people and culture as the catalyst. We should quadruple the number of people currently watching our domestic league. 

"That's why I have a five-year programme, which I hope to achieve within the time frame of the normal four-year tenure allowed for each board of the NFF. I will touch youth, female, league, elite, national and international aspects - with support from all stakeholders ... clubs, referees, coaches, the media and the general public. With total support from everyone, the future can be bright for Nigerian football. 

"I will also ensure we reverse the dwindling fortune of our senior national team through construction of a vibrant platform for change of mentality among the players. I'm already reaching out to people at the community level, because I want to focus more on the grassroots sector. We will develop grassroots infrastructure, focus of high performance structures and groom the next generation of international players. That would be our springboard into the future. 

"We have to admit that we are currently in the most challenging period for Nigerian football. As a panecea, we'll tackle the long-term hurdles with a solid blueprint in the right direction. We'll boost our broadcast channels, improve marketing links, introduce more technology, enhance the quality of referees, provide fresh attractions for investors, ensure better quality of pitches, provide improved capacity building of our coaches and introduce a very active league for feeder teams of all clubs in the domestic game. We will carry along all state football associations; because we want to move Nigeria's football forward."

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