–Veteran tennis star says she’s ready to coach Nigeria players
By Kayode Ogunbanwo:
Nigeria veteran table tennis player, Funke Oshinaike has urged the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation, NTF, to fast-track the growth of the sport by hiring new coach who knows the job better to handle the players.
Apparently upset by Nigeria’s poor performance at the concluded GAC Group 2015 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour, Lagos Open, Oshonaike said reason most Nigerian players performed below par at the tournament was the fact they lack good coaches who could guide them professionally and technically.
“Let me not deceive you, the present coaches handling our players are not the best for the future of the game, Oshonaike fumed”.
“Their (coaches) delivery clearly showed on many occasions that they need to be replaced. Seriously, I don’t want to expose all the short-comings of these coaches that I have found unsuitable for the growth of our players”.
“We need a professional coach that will be employed on a contract basis, and not the type that will come and say that certain persons are his players and as a result he must be the one to be coaching such.
“In case you don’t know, this has been the system in the Nigeria table tennis and as far as I know this will never take us anywhere because there is no country doing well today in table tennis that allows all these acts”.
“Look at those Egyptians that bundled most of us out of the Lagos Open, they did not just do that, their Federation went as far as Korea or China to employ trained coaches to handle their players, and the truth was not far fetched because we all saw the performances of their players at that Open”.
“We have the class of Segun Toriola who has played this game to the highest level, and who knows the latest techniques of the game. These kind of people could be employed if they are willing to coach”.
The veteran Nigerian player however revealed that if the federation decides to contract her as a coach, she would gladly accept the offer as she has the experience to tinker the country to the next level, but insists the federation must be willing to pay her well to leave her family in Germany to take up the job.
“I am already over forty years, and I have got lots of experience in the game during my long stay abroad, and as a result I have seen those areas many Nigerian players are lacking which has in most cases prevented them from getting to where they should be on the world stage in the game”.