Usman Jubril was the cynosure of all eyes at the Agege Stadium Lagos penultimate week. The attacking midfielder, who signs of maturity on the ball beyond his age, made life difficult for players of Igbobi College when his school Government College Kaduna took on the Lagos side in the opening game of the revived National Principals Cup.
It was no surprise that he won the man of the match in the game that ended 1-1. What many questioned was why he was not in the national U-17 team then preparing for the African Under-17 Nations Cup.
In time past, the Principals Cup was the nursery for most of the big talents that went on to become Nigeria’s super stars in football. So, it was pleasing to all the spectators that Usman was on hand to show why the competition needed to be revived.
Fielding questions from journalists at the Agege Stadium after the ceremonial opening game, Usman praised the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development for giving him the opportunity to play his game in front of a large audience. He said, “People come to watch our school games in Kaduna but this is the largest crowd I have witnessed so far.
“My dream is to play in big matches and coming to Lagos, to me, is a dream come true.” Usman named Paris St. Germaine star, Kylian Mbappe as his idol, saying he is dreaming of one day playing with the France World Cup winner.
“I like Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi, but Mbappe is my favourite. He moves past opponents with ease and can score great goals.
“I am working on my speed and I believe with time, I can get to the same level he is now.” Usman’s Government College Kaduna was involved in the states preliminaries of the Principals Cup, which ended recently.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Sports has adjusted the schedule for the competition, with the national finals earlier scheduled for April 1 to 5 now to hold from March 27 to 31.
According to the Chairman of the Main Organizing Committee, Dr. Ademola Are, “this change became necessary as we do not want distractions for the students writing their exams. The exams of the students must be given priority; we don’t want the matches too close to their exams so that they can concentrate. Sports and education must go side by side and we want to always strike the right balance.”
Already, champions have emerged in most of the states. In Kwara State, Thomas Adewunmi Comprehensive College (TAICO) defeated Lasoju Comprehensive High School, Ilorin by a lone goal in the final played on Wednesday morning at the Ilorin Township Stadium.
TAICO secured a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Government High School, Ilorin with Kamaldeen Jelili scoring a brace, while the other goals came from Abdulganiyu Ibrahim and Abdulwahab Muktar.
In Niger State, Zarumai Model School, Minna beat Day Secondary School, Maitube 1-0 at the Maryam Babaginda Secondary School Minna playground to secure a place in the zonal finals. Zarumai had defeated Day Secondary School, Tunga, 2-1 in the first semi-final, while Day Secondary School, Maitube, dispersed Day Secondary School, Bosso by three goals to 2.
In the South East, Government Secondary School, Afikpo will represent Ebonyi State following a 1-0 defeat of St Michaels Seminary School, Oshiri, in the state finals on Wednesday.
Government Day Secondary School, Unguwar Gwaza, will represent Zamfara State at the zonal finals in Jos after trouncing Government Day Secondary School, Sambo 4-1 to emerge the state champion.
In Gombe, Government Secondary School, Pantami defeated Government Arabic College to emerge Gombe State champions. Action shifted to Lagos, Abuja, Osun, Taraba, Jigawa and other states today.
Apart from football, the organisers disclosed thataf students would also participate in table tennis and athletics competitions up to the national finals in Abuja.
Buy Cheap MTN, Glo, 9Mobile, Airtel Data VTU Services, Check out the best offers for you Today