Team Nigeria’s coach, Mohammed Ubale is upbeat about the country’s chances of a memorable outing at the 2017 CAT/ITF African Junior Tennis Championship serving off March 25th – April 5th at the Benoni Country Club, Johannesburg.
Ubale, alongside five players are scheduled to arrive the South African capital in the early hours of Thursday from Lagos but despite the absence of team captain, Oyinlomo Barakat Quadri as a result of injury, the coach is keen to see Nigeria matched its best outing at the tournament featuring over 100 players from about 30 countries.
Ubale said, “Yes, it (injury to Quadri) is undoubtedly a big blow to is because we stand a great chance of claiming our first gold ever at the championship.
“Nevertheless, having attained a new standard last year with Michael Osewa playing in the final of the boy’s 14 and under, we hope to match the performance of last year which will represent a huge progress for junior tennis in Nigeria”
Aside Osewa and Michael Ayoola who will feature in the 16 and Under, the sojourn to South Africa for the three of the players, namely Marylove Edward, Matthew Abamu and David Dawariye will start of a fierce note as they will be on action after few fours of their arrival on Thursday at the ITF/CAT 14 and Under Junior Circuit which holds from March 23rd – 25th at the University of Pretoria High Performance Centre.
After a total of fourteen training sessions in four days in the team’s camping in Lagos, Ubale was particularly impressed with Dawariye of the Kodian Tennis Foundation Port Harcourt, who will be making his debut at the junior circuit as well as the AJC “His attitude to training is fantastic and on the back of winning the CBN junior title few weeks ago, he’s looking forward to the tournament. This is the first time he will be travelling overseas and he is very determined to make the best use of the opportunity.”