Vandrezzer FC goalkeeper Obinna Akuchie insists the team’s pre-season camping is the best he has ever had since he started professional football few years ago, describing it as “pre-season with a difference”.
According to the 20 year-old shot stopper, the various physical and psychological drills have boosted confidence in the squad to have a great season capped with promotion to the elite league.
VFC Media caught up with the Lagos FA Cup winner who is in pre-season camping with the rest of his teammates, and he spoke about training, his love for VFC, his teammates, personal targets, and the team’s chances of clinching a promotion spot.
See interview excerpt ⬇️
It is few weeks to the start of the 2022 NNL season, which is incidentally your first league season with VFC, how are you looking forward to it?
OA: It’s really good for me to play in the NNL with Vandrezzer Football Club. I am very happy and working hard to be a goalkeeper of Vandrezzer standard. I feel confident I have a lot to offer the team and I believe that the coaches are training us very hard so we can give our best. I'm looking forward to the season.
The Lagos FA cup triumph last month, do you still think about that?
OA: Actually I do, and every time I feel very good about myself and my teammates. I feel proud of myself because I gave all I had to see we lifted the trophy. I had just signed for VFC, a club I've been dreaming to play for, and the FA Cup was the first assignment for many of my teammates who just recently signed as well. We had no choice than to give our best to the team and fortunately God crowned our efforts, we lifted the trophy.
It was indeed a great moment for the club. Now let us dwell on pre-season. The drills, the strengthening and conditioning, the games, how are they going?
OA: Pre-season is very good. With the expatraite coaches and our new head coach on ground giving us various lessons, it all seems like this is a foreign club. In my years of football, I have never done strengthening and conditioning, and I can say so for many of my teammates here. The standard is very high and we have to measure up or else we might not be considered ready to compete for this club. But everyone is adapting because it is bringing out the best in us. From the gym, to the pool, to the field, the jumps, the coaches’ strategies...in fact I have never seen this kind of training in the NPFL and NNL. I say this because apart from clubs I have played in, my colleagues in other clubs are envious of us here. It’s like what we watch in the European leagues, I call it ‘pre-season with difference.’ Any club that can employ people from UK, South Africa, as backroom staff, and use scientific means to coach, is definitely a big club. I’m happy to be part of this and no doubt, we will be the best team in the league next season.
Alright, let's talk about the relationship with you and your team mates. What’s your relationship like with fellow goalkeepers Daniel Emmanuel and Paul Emenike, and the rest of the team?
OA: Very good relationship. I consider it a privilege to play with goalkeepers Paul and Daniel who have been very welcoming and friendly since I got here last month. All three of us share advice and experiences because truly no man is an island. They are great goalkeepers that’s why they are here in VFC, and anyone of us is equal to the task when called upon. I am particularly closer to the defenders in the team, naturally because we work close to each other on the pitch (laughs). As for the whole team, we are all friends. We all communicate with one another very well, correct ourselves when necessary and above all we have respect for each other. These are part of the things we are taught here in camp.
Interesting. So it's safe to say that the team is a strong family and the general spirit in the camp is very high?
OA: Ofcourse. We all practice the club slogan “Won’t Walk That Road Without You”. We know that united we stand, divided we fall. This is exactly what saw us to FA Cup victory last month. Because we love ourselves as players, individually, we cooperate, whether it’s during a match, in training, or back in camp. The spirit is also very high and we can’t wait to achieve more together.
What will it mean to you to gain promotion with Vandrezzer FC at the end of the season?
OA: I'll be the happiest guy on earth although I've done it before few years ago with a former club I played for. Doing it a second time will make me happier and that's why I'm giving my best in the training sessions, and I always encourage the rest of the team to do same. I know we would face a lot of hurdles, but at the end by God’s grace, I pray we are victorious. The Bible says that promotion comes from the Lord; so we will work hard and leave the rest to God.
Any thing you will love to say as we wrap up this session?
OA: Thank you. I want to use this opportunity to thank our coaches, the management and every staff of this great club, including the amazing media team, who have projected me to a level that I am almost now like a king in my state (laughs). One thing is sure when you join VFC, your general status changes, you become a prominent player, and I thank the club for this. I pray I can make everyone here very proud by doing all I can to ensure we are promoted to the premier league. Special thanks to the amazing fans who keep us going, the club president for his kind heart and vision, and then the biggest appreciation goes to GOD for helping me stay alive and fit to be part of this club.
All the best champ
OA: Thank you very much!
Vandrezzer FC...Won’t Walk That Road Without You!