By Kingsley Emmanuel
Former Enyimba striker, Victor Ezeji says the number of pre-season tournaments in the country could overstretch players ahead of the League’s kick-off.
Ezeji, in an exclusive interview with popular sports blog www.busybuddies.com said that Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL players are not robots to be used in different tournaments during the preseason.
“We are seeing clubs now stretching the players through preseason tournaments and if you look at the clubs playing in the preseason tournaments, they are almost the same.
“We have Nyesom Wike tournament, Governor Massari, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, Ogunjobi Gold cup as well as another in Ughelli and the Ahlan Cup in Kano.
“These players are not robots for God’s sake,” Ezeji said.
Ezeji who works as a Player relations adviser to the League Management Company, LMC further suggested that preseason is usually a time where clubs need to prepare their players physically and mentally and not all about playing matches.
“It is only in Nigeria that we find out that preseason is just a time for you to play matches and matches. That is not what preseason tournaments are all about.
“It is a time for you to prepare your team mentally and physically, for you to bring referees to come to speak to your players in case there are new rules or refresh their memories about the old rules,” Ezeji said.
“This is the time where you need to bring in psychologists to put the players in the right frame of mind. It is also a time you bring NPFL legends to come tell the players their experience in the league.
“But most of our clubs are not doing these. All they are interested in is football matches alone,” Ezeji lamented.
Ezeji is one of the most successful and longest playing players in the Nigeria Professional Football League as he won the Africa Champions’ League title with Enyimba.