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Aondosoo Kwaghbura: I am using NYSC FC as a springboard to Europe

National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) FC forward, Aondosoo Andrew Kwaghbura, has revealed that he is using his present club as a springboard to Europe where…

National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) FC forward, Aondosoo Andrew Kwaghbura, has revealed that he is using his present club as a springboard to Europe where he is hoping to play professional football. In this exclusive chat with Trust Sports, the Milo Academy graduate said his father supported his dream of playing football on the condition he combined it with his academics. The graduate of Business Management from University of Mkar also spoke on the recently concluded Alhan Invitational tournament in Abuja and his future plans.

How did you start playing football?

First of all, I started as a street footballer from a tender age. In my neighbourhood in Adikpo where I grew up, almost every kid plays the game. My dad bought my boots then to encourage me. As little as I was, I played against bigger and older players. It may interest you to know that some of them were playing for professional clubs but whenever they came home, we played together. But I must say that my interest in football came from reading newspapers, especially sports tabloids that my dad used to buy. I started playing organised football in 2007 and since then, I have not looked back. I am passionate about the game and intend to turn professional very soon.

How did you get into the NYSC Football club?

I am a graduate of Business Management from the University of Mkar in Benue. I was mobilised for my NYSC and posted to Bayelsa State from where I was scouted during the inter-platoon games and redeployed to the FCT to be a part of the NYSC national team.

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How happy were you when you were invited to come and join the team in Abuja?

It was a happy moment for me because even as I am still serving, I want to be active so that once I am done with my service, I will hit the ground running. So, for me, it is a welcome development. I thank God for the opportunity given to me by the NYSC authorities and the management of the club.

 Which clubs have you played for and the competitions you have attended?

From my primary school days till I got into the university, I was involved in school games all through. I played all primary school games the same as All secondary school games. I started with Milo Stars academy in Benue State and presently, I am the captain of Young Talented academy. I have also played for other academies in Cross Rivers and in Makurdi. At the moment, I am playing for the NYSC team as part of my service to the nation.

Have you had any opportunity to play for any of the junior national teams?

I have not been invited to play for any of the national teams yet. But I look forward to being invited to play Nigeria. I have chosen football as a career and it will be a plus to my profile to play for my country. I’m determined to succeed as a footballer.

As a university graduate, how were you able to combine your academics with football?

From the onset, my dad only allowed me to play football within an academic setting. He was very particular about me going to school even as he had no issues with me playing football. Therefore, he discouraged me from playing street football. To be sincere, I sometimes skipped my evening lectures to go and play football and later figure out how I would make it up. I managed all through till I graduated from the university. But to be honest with you, it wasn’t easy. I thank God that I was able to juggle education with my passion.

You played for NYSC in the just concluded Alhan pre-season tournament in Abuja. How much did you and your club benefit from the tournament?

As you are aware, the Alhan Cup is an invitational tournament which started some years ago in Kano. This is the first time the competition was staged in Abuja. NYSC FC was invited to come and participate and we went all the way to the final where we defeated Supply FC 4-2 on penalties to clinch the trophy. It is a win-win situation for us because apart from emerging champions, we have sharpened our skills ahead of the Nationwide Division One season. So, it was an excellent preparatory ground for the team and for me as a player.

As an upcoming footballer, what is your favourite Nigerian club?

I love Lobi Stars. I love the club because it is one of the clubs that influenced me in a way to take up football as a career. Some of the older players I played street football with were from Lobi Stars. As a matter of fact, at a certain time, I played for Lobi Stars’ Feeder team.

Which of the foreign clubs is your favourite?

I love Chelsea. It is one of the first clubs I knew. I got to know about Chelsea from the newspapers my father used to buy then. There were some players Like Didier Drogba that I adored in the club.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years in football?

By the special grace of God, I see myself in Europe. Specifically, I want to play in Europe. Like I said earlier, I am putting so much determination and commitment to achieve my dreams. I train very hard every day to make myself available for any opportunities that may come my way. I pick from my seniors, watch their games and see what I can get from them. As a matter of fact, I am using NYSC FC as a springboard or launching pad to Europe.

 As an active participant in Nigerian football, how do you think the game can be developed faster?

I think the government should invest massively in football. Just as we saw at the 2023 AFCON, where football brought Nigerians together, the government can latch onto that to grow the game. If we put our hands and hearts together with all sincerity, the game of football will grow and everybody will benefit from it. Football deserves serious attention because it is the only thing that truly unites us.

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