Good days could in no time returns to the darling team of Oyo State, Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) as the State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde has assured management, staff, fans and technical crew of 3SC that his administration is ready to work hard and allow the club to takes its respectful position in Nigerian football and make it a successful football team again.
Governor Makinde made this declaration on Wednesday while hosting the management and technical crew of the club for a stakeholders’ meeting at the executive chamber of the governor’s office.
The stakeholders of the team came on the visit following the failure of the club to secure promotion ticket from the Nigerian National League (NNL) to the Nigeria Professional football League (NPFL) after losing 3-0 to the Akwa Starlets in the NNL playoff in Asaba, Delta state last month.
The stakeholders were led by the Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Sports, Mrs Olubisi Adegoke, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr Olanrewaju Bashir, General Manager, Sports Council, Mr Gboyega Makinde, Chairman, Oyo State Football Association, Oba James Odeniran, General Manager 3SC, Mr Rasheed Balogun, Team Manager, Mr Dimeji Lawal, 3SC Chief Coach Mr Edith Agoye and a veteran sportwriter, Mr Ade Somefun.
After listening to remarks from different representatives from the stakeholders of the club, Governor Makinde noted that although, himself and many teeming supporters and fans of the 3SC were very disappointed in the failure to get the promotion, that would not deter him and his administration to do everything possible and expected of his office to ensure that the story changes as the team begins preparations for commencement of 2019/2020 Nigerian Premier League season.
According to him, “I have heard all what you had to say, your disappointment. I am also disappointed and some of you here we have interacted before. Some of the challenges that you have mentioned, they are surmountable. I have been in this state, early 80s when Leventis United got promoted to Division three to two to one just in a season.
“I am also a die-hard supporter of 3SC. Of course I understand that you have to be motivated, also I understand that in football and sports generally, welfare is the key. We have seen athletes leave Nigeria to go adorn the colours of other countries. So, if we cannot make these things worthwhile for the players and the people charged with the administration of sports and especially football, then we will continue to have these pains, which I could see everybody felt, because we couldn’t get the promotion.
“Yes, we shouldn’t be playing at the National League level, we should be playing Premiership in Nigerian and this is a club with a very rich history behind it. We just have to do whatever is necessary at this point in time to pick up the pieces and face the future or else we will keep on looking back. It is almost like someone on a treadmill, when you start looking back, you are likely to fall and get injured. So, we want to stay focus and face the future.
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“What happened at the last match in Asaba, you know when you said, maybe it’s jazz or not, well, I’ll say this that I am sitting as the Governor of this state today could be termed a miracle. So, Shooting Stars will definitely get promoted this season.
“If it will take a miracle, it won’t be something new because you have a miracle governor on the seat and we have to make it happened and we have to plan for it.
“We have listened to you, if it were to be in my private capacities, I will say things now and it will happen immediately but things are a little bit different in government. It is something I am learning the very hard way but I believe we are learning fast, I believe we will look for ways and means to make things to happen faster even within the limit imposed by the governance structure here.
“We are going to toy with several ideas, we are going to take on board what you have all said, but one thing I need to mention is the fact that we are not going to mix sports administration with politics. I don’t care where you belong politically, what I care about is that we have to work hard and allow 3SC to take its positions in Nigerian football. I am not interested in the saying that it was an APC government that puts something in place, I said it during my campaign and also during my inauguration that whatever policies that are good that the past administration had put in place, we will take it and run with it. The same thing applies in this case too. Nobody should be afraid of their job because how you came in there.
“We will make changes that can give us the desired result, but what is important is that the management and the players, you should be sure that we will motivate you and we will also properly fund the club.”
Meanwhile, Governor Makinde charged the team for an improved performance if the state government can lift its motivation from its present situation, saying “To whom much is given, much is also expected. We will give you the required resources, we will also gave you the required attention.”
In their separate remarks, the team manager, Rasheed Balogun, team captain, Waheed Omololu, chief coach, Edith Agoye, Team Manager, Dimeji Lawal, and the chairman of Supporters Club, Oluwafemi Oyeniyi, all apologized to the government and the people of the state for their failure to secure the ticket, promising to make them happy in the current season.
The team captain, Omololu and Dimeji Lawal however went emotional while trying to press home their point, but assured the governor that the can bounce back with special attention from the governor.
Declaring his assurance to pay special attention to the club and its sister club in Ogbomosho, Crown FC, and the influence of the club on its fans, Governor Makinde said “When 3SC is not doing well, you are not the only ones feeling the pains, the generality of our people. Many of our people takes a lot of sacrifices personally for the success of the club and even when the club don’t even deliver, they also feel down.
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“I have seen the effect before when the party suffered defeat and for days my father will be angry at anyone and we now that when 3SC gets good result, we also enjoy it.
“We will appoint a Special Assistant in the Governor’s Office to look after the 3SC and the Crown Football Club Ogbomosho.
“We are doing this so that we can have the required attention and I also promise you that I will attend some of your matches. We will do everything possible to ensure that my charge to you, which is Shooting Stars must get promoted after this season. Everything that we are supposed to do, we will do. Areas where you think, you have to fortify, by all means, send your proposal to us and we will treat it with dispatch.
“I am not here to dwell in the past, but here to listen to what you have you have to say but for us to go back and put structures in place that will allow you to achieve these objectives. If you don’t, after giving you everything, then you shouldn’t change your mind about resigning.
“We will play our parts and you will definitely see the difference because we want the generality of our people who are supporting 3SC to also be happy, that is parts of the reason we are here. And any resources expended we believe will be justified by giving us the needed promotion at the end of the season. So, I want to say thank you for coming and you will be hearing from us based on all the things you have requested.”