ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Government says plans are underway to build a permanent camping facility for its male and female football teams – Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens.
Governor Douye Diri dropped the hint while speaking during a special dinner organised by the state government to honour the Bayelsa Queens Football Club at the Golden Tulip Resort, Onopa, Yenagoa.
Represented by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the Governor pointed out that the camp when built would motivate the management and players of both teams to perform better as well as save the state of scarce resources being spent on rents.
He said the dinner was put together as part of measures to appreciate the team for making the state proud by emerging the overall winners of the 2021/2022 Nigerian Women Football League Premiership.
While thanking the team, Diri indicated that the government had already fulfilled its promise of renting a befitting camp for the team officials and players.
Diri also used the opportunity to pep the team up for their upcoming continental outing in the Zone B of WAFU qualifiers for the CAF Confederation Cup, assuring them that his administration would give them all necessary support to enable them to win at the competition this year.
He, however, charged the board members, coaches and players not to lose focus but work closely together to maintain their winning streak in all competitions.
He said: “I want to thank you once again for making us proud. We are very happy for you because quite a lot of people had underrated you. But the feelers I had was that everyone in the stadium and even beyond the stadium agreed that you were the best team.
“You have been quite outstanding in the last two seasons and have carved a niche for yourselves.”
“We talked with the owner of the new camp on Thursday and he agreed that he is going to get you move in yesterday. But I think they are working hard, so we believe that you people will move in before the end of next week.
“Our plan is not just for you to be there, but we are thinking that in the next three years that the rent would be paid, we should be able to build a permanent camp for you people. We need to build permanent camps for you and Bayelsa United because you are doing very well.”
In his remarks, the Chairman of Bayelsa Queens FC, Pastor Robin Apreala, expressed gratitude to the state government for giving the management and players unprecedented support.
Pastor Apreala said Bayelsa Queens FC was the most motivated team in the female football professional league in the country and prayed for the same support as the side prepares for the continental outing.
Also speaking, the Captain of Bayelsa Queen, Miss Joy Jerry, thanked Governor Diri, and his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo for their love, support and encouragement towards Bayelsa Queens, and promised to go all out to conquer the continent.
Recall that the Bayelsa Queens FC got a clean slate by defeating all their opponents in the six-team Super League and lifted the Nigerian Women Football League title at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, Edo State, on May 22, this year.
The team also won the 2021 Aiteo FA Cup final also played at the venue.