By Abiola Shodiya
Shooting Stars Sports Club, popularly known as 3SC, is one of the traditional teams in Nigeria. In fact it was the first Nigerian club to win a continental trophy back in 1976.
Today, on the hot seat of 3SC is Coach Fatai Amoo.
Speaking with AOIfootball.com, Fatai Amoo, who is on his second stint as the manager of the club, said something uncommon of NPFL coaches. He declared his love for 3SC and the reason for that, even though the club is struggling in the league.
“I feel good. It’s a team I love so much, yeah I’m a professional coach and I want to coach anywhere when the conditions are okay. Coaching shooting has many advantages. They are a household name in Nigeria and Africa. Wherever you go and you tell people you coach Shooting Stars, they respect you. If you look at the history you’ll want to coach the club. Working with 3SC will be of advantage to anyone who wants to make a mark. I’m really enjoying being in shooting even as the results may not be coming but I’m sure it will turn out good,” Amoo enthused.
Fatai Amoo also talks about the challenges of coaching the present day 3SC.
“Honestly, you can’t spend more than your budget. I agree Shooting is a brand in Africa. But we understand the challenges of the government; they are doing everything possible within their capability. No player in Shooting today will tell you he is getting below what he was promised. It means there’s improvement and kudos to the government. You don’t start looking at those who have a lot of resources. With what you have, you can still challenge. We played a better funded Rivers United and won. Maybe, soon enough the management will come out of whatever situation they are in. The GM has been vibrant, going lengths to see that the players are happy”.
In Week 11 NPFL fixtures played midweek, 3SC picked a point away at Enyimba FC, a feat they had not achieved in 21 years. However, Amoo thinks the League Management Company (LMC) should reconsider the midweek fixtures.
“One aspect we forget is that as you lay your bed, you lie on it. The LMC wanted this League to start earlier, but these same clubs management for one reason or the other, genuine or otherwise did not make it happen. The LMC has been trying to see how we can harmonise our League with other African countries so that by the time our teams play in the continent, we would be very ready. If I look at our last three matches for example, I’m happy with the blend, although we may not have won those matches like people expected. My appeal to the LMC is to please consider situations of most of our teams and try to remove the midweek matches because of the financial constraints and roads which are not too good. If you put all these together, the players can’t give their best. And when people who are trying to market these players see these things, it not too good”.
Amoo also thanked the Shooting Stars management for giving him and his backroom staff the freehand to work, which has resulted in young players getting opportunities to feature in the club.
“That’s one thing Shooting has done for us the coaching crew. They realise that for now, the money is not really there to get the stars but they know that they have a technical adviser with others who are also products of catching them young.
“Faleye is one talent out of many I’ve nurtured. Odion Ighalo started under me at Julius Berger from the academy. Sunday Faleye is just starting. I’m happy he his disciplined. There are so many that are coming through now. That’s why I’m thanking the management and the fans for the understanding. In a very short while, Shooting will come to what they want,” he concluded.
Shooting Stars so far have 11 points from 11 games in the Nigeria Professional Football League this season, and they are away to Gombe United league in their next game.
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