Thursday, 16 October 2014
It was not by chance that all these came to be. How the team was formed, how i joined, and how Nelson was found. This is contained in the secret diary of the club, they call it, 'managers diary' and sometimes 'The book of secrets'. Contained in its pages are the secrets of good and evil that fills the world. From generation to generation, the balance is never achieved, therefore prompting the minions on both sides to use every weapon in their defensive armoury. Thot Amon- king of the shadow sect, upholds the wheel of darkness and restless in the pursuit for total dominance. The Gods- controls all that be of three worlds that coexist; temple of light, the universe, and the underworld. The Chosen one- a mortal chosen in each generation to defend light against the horrors of the dark. Little did i know that all my life was entangled in this secret, or perhaps Opal FC's. My parents were high ranked commanders of the Cosmos Corps- a very secretuve society that monitored the supernatural balance of the world. The cosmos corps are everywhere. They identify the chosen of each generation, who will lead them to fight hand in hand against darkness. I couldn't explain my sudden emotion for Nelson until now. My bloodline have always identified the chosen one of their time, and now coming in close range with Nelson, i could not resist the spiritual touch. The Chosen one he is, no doubt about it. But to carry out his mission, he has to be trained, and i'll be most honoured to be his teacher. On the pitch, he is what a player is made of, but i know he's made of more, my boss know so, the cosmos corps know, he his made up of the powers of light- The spirit of vengeance against evil. But how do we tell him? We will have to prepare him. How will he take it when he comes to know who he really is? What will he do when he finally comprehends that his responsibilities are far greater than kicking a soccer ball?
Wednesday, 24 September 2014
It takes a lot to bring a perfect team to reality. It goes down to the evolution of creation, how units became whole. This system is what brought about the giants of yesterday and the powerful of today and will inevitably evolve rulers of the future. But the mystery of its balance is yet to be understood. A perfect idea was what brought the nonagenarian into the topmost heirachy; creating Opal FC. Von Platino, Italian breed, Mexican by birth, turned the Fantastic Junior Amateur Football Club to a world class soccer club that it is now. Speculations have erupted about why the big time bussiness man invest in an underdog brand far from his field. Maybe he wants to win the hearts of the Nigerian masses, or he wants to loot us like the rest of his kind did in the pre-colonial era. No one really knows for the fact that the tycoon reportedly had an aversion for soccer. The club was handed over to his son, Anold in his death, who was the true mastermind behind Opal Football Club. Disguising sometimes as a pauper, he'll sneak at every training pitch he came accross, searching for the right talent. That was how he found me in the dusty environment of Kano. My parents had sent me there to be properly groomed in Islamic Knowledge, but Mr Anold was the one who foresaw my true potential: a knack for football, not dried leaves. It was the happiest day of my life when my parents agreed to let me pursue my heart desire. Surely, nobody could ever envy the path of my life 'cos I never really had a good career. A brutal knee injury ruled me out at the early stage of my football career, but this was soon to be a blessing in disguise. I was named manager after losing our coach to cancer. 21 years on the sideline gave me more than enough experience to manage the team. Just like every other manager, I had my playing formula which needed one more ingredient to be efficacious, a sharp striker. Following in my boss' footsteps, I went from place to place in search of the right talent. Finally,I found him, just like L'afolabi was found. He's also Nigerian but he has no dreadlocks. Black hair, chocolate skin, dark blue eyes, perfect physic for a starlet. I think he goes by the name Nelson. Yes, Nelson.
Saturday, 20 September 2014
Two brawl opponents hehind. The pleasure’s suddenly beoming pressure. ‘There’s nowhere to go now, rat!’, one said, reminding me once again of Bash. All i can see now is his face and his voice echoing…’Down you go kid’, and alas, I was going down. But i could feel strenght spontenously surging through my nerves. My body-mind and soul, focused onnly on the oval object approaching, though still feeling some form of infringement. All power was directed to my lethal left foot as i connected the ball through a bicycle move. Stunning! Brilliant! Dynamite! are chants I got for scoring my first touch. Even I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was the hero of the moment, the saviour of the ‘fantastics’. Overjoyed at the euphoria of the moment, I made an unconscious celebration move- My head hung high in the sky with both arms spread backwards like a bird soaring high up in the sky- That became my signature celebration since then. Parity was restored, and both sides were already looking up to extra-time. Coach ordered a defensive strategy after the equaliser making me the only man up-front. Azar, C.C.Rovers’ hit-man was edging close to the 18 area. Not until a timely tackle by the captain, Ifeanyi, a.k.a. Wind-rythym, who made the clearance. He seemed to me a psyche, for he knew where I was even without seeing me. The ball balanced under my right soccer boot. It was a three on one situation. I could see the stadium’s big screen reading ’90:00+3:07′. Last throw of the dice it was, leaving me with only one option; face what’s coming. The roar of the fans sure help me complete a 360 move, beating two defenders down and out. Nitro!Nitro!!Nitro!!! chanting by the crowed jeered me to raise the ball up to my chest, helping me escape a dangerous tackle from the last man. BOOOM! It’s in. The goalie was well beaten. 2-1 it ended as joyous teamates engulfed me in bear hugs. ‘Great game kid, but more troubles soon’ coach chided. The legendary l’afolabi’s number 10 jersey was awarded to me at the end of the season.
Friday, 12 September 2014
It all started at the youth club. There were uncountable teams battling for survival. I belonged to one called The Fantastic Juniors. Anytime or day, be sure to find us in our traditional white and blue jersey. I was a top striker among the ranks. Just like every rookie as we were called, I wanted to become a soccer star someday. The only hope we ever had was playing our best game in front of the spectators who came to watch. Normally, it used to be at most five lucky players who get to be sponsored to further their career. But lkfe as it may be proved sweet to us as a multimillionaire hardcore soccer loving analyst agreed to sponsor the team I played for. It was a dream come true for me and my friends. With this opportunity, I saw and reached the depths of this world I'll never dream of going to. Life added another twist in apposite to my success. Some of our friends who joined other clubs on the course of our success wished they had a little more patience. Ask Nicolas and Stanley, they'll affirm what I'm telling you. A big-time business man bought the rookie fantastic juniors club. Behold the beginning of the dreamt beginning. We were here, three of us; the only remaining players on the fantastic juniors team, now Opal FC, inside a 10 thousand crowded stadium. It's the first time we'll ever play in the Nigerian Global league, the NGL. Our stars shined than the burning sun that afternoon. It was like we finally reached that zenith uor coach, Mr Rabiu would always make us dream about. It was getting older and tired at 37. Looking back, i finally realized why they say life is so short, what you make of it defines you forever. Although I had some regrets, but seeing what i've achieved from the seat amongst the fans at the age of 50, I looked up at the fireworks in the sky, today's the golden jubelee of the team that made me what I am today- The NGL all time goal scorer, Lanre Olarewaju Afolabi, a.k.a L'afolabi.
Sunday, 31 August 2014
‘Double up!’, I heard my coach’s voice as i tucked in my shirt. The latest white-white i’ve seen on TV, which has a thick blue stripe running from the shoulder down to the abdomen on both front sides. I tapped my new boots to affirm its comfort and fitting. Suddenly, the tapping had developed wings which transported me to Blu Camp- Opal FC’s stadia. ‘This is it- my opportunity, make sure you give me ezcellent balls Nelson’, grinned Bash. Looking into his eyes you could see him supercilious, cockily wriggling- a way of completing his earlier statement- ‘you fraidy cat’. Magi me, i don’t let anybody argue me around. But now is no time for words but action- consequential actions. The roaring of the fans brought me back from dream world. Finally, I heard it- ‘number nineteen; NELSON!, I saw it- ten thousand capacity crowd, I felt it- the spirit that possess one in zenith, I want it- the glory anyone who could kick a soccer ball craved. 79 minutes into a crucial final game between CC Rovers and Opal FC saw me as a sub ,rookie, and crude striker. We were down by a goal, 11 minutes remained at our descretion to salvage. The rest of the team looked ironically exhilirated as i heard their panting and marvel sweat droplets- clearly stating the fact that I’m the only frisky fellow, and everything depends on me even when i’m not captain. Again I was back at Blu Camp. It seems Bash is getting all attention. His passes, moves, dribbles, shots, to a connoiseur ,is perfect correography, so sublime. But I’ve got dexterity up my sleeves too-those ones i learnt back at high school. I was sure to show some of my personal studs. This was a test match. Rookies chosen from different academies have been tallied to impress ”the Coach” in this game or wait till next season when random picking begins. Bash and I are from the same academy, but i just can’t abide by him. It took a lot of courage to be here, recounting countless experiences of Bash trouncing me. NELSON! The scream brought me back to reality. ‘oh-no…the ball is rolling towards me….’ ….TO BE CONTINUED.