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Bendel Insurance FC setting new template for others to emulate.

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Philip Shaibu, the Deputy Governor of Edo says Bendel Insurance FC is setting a new template in club’s football administration for others in the country to emulate.

Shaibu stated this in Abuja after the round of 64 encounter between Bendel Insurance of Benin and Junior Katsina United.

Recalls , Bendel Insurance defeated the Katsina United feeder team 2-0 at the end of a keenly contested encounter at the FIFA Goal Project pitch.

Goals by Imade Oserenkhoe and Deputy Echeta in both halves of the match ensured that the Edo-based clubside secured passage to the Round of 32.

Shaibu described the management architecture set up for Bendel Insurance by the state government as a new template for club administration every Nigerian club should adopt for the development of football in the country.

“Ours is to make sure that Bendel Insurance and Edo Queens set the template in terms of welfare and what club administration and organisation should look like.

“The truth is that, we are not just grooming a team for the future but we are also building a team that will be a role model to other clubs.

“For instance, the young boy, Imade (Oserenkhoewho) who scored the first goal for Insurance is a university graduate as well as a lot of other players in the team.

“We are combining not just football, but sports in general with education,” he said.

He noted that for other players in the team who were not educated, arrangements had been made to ensure that during the mid season and spare time, they were engaged through the ‘Edo job scheme’ to learn one skill or the other.

He explained that the idea was to ensure that after 35 or a maximum of 40 years when they are done with active football, they can have something to fall back on.

“We have a lot of ex-internationals in Edo right now who are not able to feed their families and so we don’t want a repeat of that.

“So, we are using this team to reset not only today but to reset and correct what happened yesterday for a better future,” he said.

The deputy governor revealed that the target of the team was to ensure that they stayed up at the end of the 2022/2023 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season and compete favourably with the top teams.

“Our inspiration is to remain in the NPFL. The last time we qualified, you know that was the year we played an abridged league and almost all the teams came back.

“This time, we are working ahead of the NPFL new season to make sure that we not only stay there but we compete favorably with the top teams.

“You can see that Akwa United came and did the ‘flash’ . They had an unbeaten run and won the league.

“Rivers United have also done the same. They also did the ‘flash’ and won the league in style last season.

“Bendel Insurance’s target is not to do a one-off thing, but rather to come, win and stay,” he said.

On the team’s target for the Aiteo Federation Cup, he said the goal was to ensure that they reachedthe final and competed for the prize.

“Our goal is to win the Aiteo Cup. We got to the quarter-finals last time with only two matches left to get to winning the cup.

“So, this year we want to double up our efforts and ensure we play in the final and by the grace of God we will take it from there.

“Anything short of the final is not our target,” he said.

While noting that a lot of the measures had been put in place to ensure that the team achieive its target, he added that the Edo Government was fully supporting and making sure the team was comfortable.

He also commended their teeming fans for their patience and support for the team and urged them not to relent but re-double their efforts and most importantly, continue to buy the club jerseys.

According to him, “You can see that with the funds derived from the sale of jerseys alone, we have been able to buy new coaster buses for Edo Queens and Bendel Insurance.

“Also, both teams now fly to the venue of their matches. So, our next target is to buy bigger buses to ensure that the team is more comfortable as they travel for their matches.

“You could see how relaxed they were coming to Abuja as they didn’t have to go through the hustle and bustle of the Benin-Auchi and Okene-Auchi roads.

“The team flew into Abuja for the game and will be flying back after the match in comfort. This is what we want to achieve because this game is a difficult game. I played it and I know how stressful it can be.

“The players need a lot of rest and don’t need that kind of stress to come and play a very difficult 90 minutes game.” (NAN)

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