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.