Head Coach of the National Under-23 football team, Samson Siasia had said that he was celebrating his Dream Team’s success in Senegal in three ways.
Siasia told Nigerian Pilot Sports that he went to the AFCON 2013 with the hope of qualifying for the Rio Olympic Games but capping with the championship trophy coupled with the release of his mother was a triple success.
According to Siasia,’’ having secured 2016 Olympics ticket and the release of my mother who was kidnapped in Bayelsa, prior to the championship made the outing a three-in-one achievement for me’’.
He noted that the perseverance of his players and his determination to remain focused led to the success of the team.
“The kidnap of my mother took a lot out of me but I know there was nothing I can do in Senegal. So, I decided to be focused and think about something else that could inspire me to do well with the team I have.
“I was only hoping to qualify for the Olympics not the kidnapping of my mother because there was nothing I could do at that moment since I was not in Bayelsa. I was only keeping in touch with the people at home to ensure they get her out and thank God it paid off because we qualified for the Olympics, won the trophy and my mother was released.’’
Siasia coach commended his players for the doggedness during the championship even as he thanked Nigerians for their support and prayers.
He however, urged the National Sports Commission and the NFF to ensure the team began early to prepare for the 2016 Olympics to avoid a repeat of the miserable experiences of the African championship.
“I was only hoping to qualify for the Olympics at least that would have been the best for me going by our preparation; our preparation was not the best. We had only 12 days to prepare in Gambia, coupled with other issues, while other countries had about two months or more. I was looking at us picking the second place or third place at least to get to Brazil, but thank God for the perseverance of the players because it paid off.’’

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