Tairu Hassan, the Chief Coach of Triumph International Football Academy of Lagos Island, whoÂ trains aboutÂ 60 youths at the Kingâ€™s College, Lagos Island, spoke about his passion for youngÂ players in this interview with Grassroots Soccer Guide
Tell us when Triumph International Football Academy was founded?
I formed the academy two years ago on Lagos Island with 20 players but today about 60 playersÂ have registered for the club. I have different categories of young players that I teach how toÂ play football and I am happy they are responding well.
What has the academy achieved in the last two years?
Donâ€™t forget that the academy is still young compared to other football academies who haveÂ existed for many years. The only achievement recorded for now was when we represented PashiÂ Street from Lagos Island to win the MTN Lagos Street Soccer in 2009. It was ourÂ biggestÂ achievement.
Are you satisfied with this achievement?
How can I be satisfied with one achievement?Â I am hungry for success. I want to win moreÂ laurels so that my academy will be recognised not only in Nigeria but all over the world.Â Achievement is not all about winning cups alone, but it is alsoÂ about the progress of the clubÂ in the area of administration, finance, playersâ€™s welfare and of course the numbers of laurelsÂ the academy has won in the recent time.
Your club have more young players than matured ones, why?
That is my area of specialisation. There are some coaches who rely only on ready made playersÂ to win tournament. A coach should know how to discover talents. He should know how to searchÂ for talented players, but how many coaches are ready to do that. I think this is the time forÂ coaches to search for raw talents, instead of looking for ready made players to play for them.
Maybe you are going for younger players because you canâ€™t control the matured ones…?
That is far from the truth. I also have matured players in my club but I concentrate more onÂ the young lads because that is where the work lies. An upcoming player who does not know theÂ basic rule of football will find it difficult to have a successful career. So let me continueÂ to groom young players for the future.
You have successfully taken the Lagos Island team to the quarter final of the ongoingÂ tournament in Lagos, what is the secret?
The secrets of my success are hard work, discipline, determination and prayers. These have madeÂ us to go far in the tournament. Our match against Ikosi-Ejirin LCDA was a tough one, but we wonÂ the game because the players played to my instructions.