Former Nigeria international Edosa Ndubuisi Aye has made himself available to the Nigeria Volleyball Federation to help make the national teams successful and able to compete against the North African teams
“If given the opportunity, my biggest desire to help improve the standards of volleyball coaches in Nigeria. To help improve them technically via organising coaching courses for them in Nigeria and abroad” Aye spoke Exclusively to www.aclsports.com in France.
He is a very keen follower of Nigerian volleyball teams from his Annemasse base “I follow all the Nigerian teams as they compete across the continent because volleyball is my passion and I really want to know how we are doing in Nigeria”.
Aye is a firm believer in the fundamentals of this his sport “We need to work really hard on the fundamentals of playing volleyball and so we have to start from the kids via schools. To teach them how to dig the ball, how to set and how to spike, these are very important but that is also why we need to have coaches who understand these first, before they are able to teach these kids.”
Aye made his debut for Nigeria in 1986 during an African Games* qualifier and stayed on that level for eighteen years making his last appearance during the 2004 Olympic qualifiers held in Tunisia. He feels that Nigeria has the numbers in population to start competing with the North African countries. “Nigeria needs to have results in mind when we go out for competitions. What obtains now is that most times we hear our Administrators saying ‘we want to see what we can do’, that is not right. We must have results as a national team”.
Aye played for nearly 12 years in France and Switzerland and you can see it in how he sees volleyball. He discusses training schedules that are pointed towards certain goals and certain basics. “When I talk about getting Nigerian coaches to be trained in modern technical aspects I mean courses that can train these coaches to know how to train players in various methods. These are things that coaches in North Africa already know and are doing easily. We have to be able to do this in Nigeria or we will just be wasting time and resources at these tournaments we attend”.
Edosa Aye is prepared tap into his contacts in France to get Volleyball instructors over to Nigeria facilitate courses for our coaches “One of my team mates when I played is the Technical Director in the France Volleyball federation and so it is not something difficult for me to organise, but it will require the Federation in Nigeria to show a willingness to allow this to happen. I am not after anyone’s job, I just want to improve volleyball standards at the National team level”.
How about coaching the national team? “That is not the first thing to be done” Aye says emphatically. “The first thing is to make sure that the structure in terms of coaching across the country is up to speed with modern volleyball so that when players report for the various national teams they will be good enough for the coach to work with”. That makes sense.
The former Etoile of Geneva players says that good results at the national team are vital for the development of the sport “Imagine volleyball qualifying for the Olympics and are shown on TV. That means there will be new converts to the sport which in turn will bring sponsors. Kenya are surely doing something right which has led to their women going to the Olympics. An ex team mate of mine has gone on to work with Cameroon and they are getting better and stronger in Africa. This can also happen in Nigeria but we need the Federation to allow some of us with experience to come and contribute to the sport we are so passionate about”.
As Aye speaks passionately about the sport one can’t help asking if there is money in it to attract new players. “When I started playing for Nigeria it was more of the pride not of money, I have to confess. I understand the money aspect, when you are good enough to play outside Nigeria there is money but the main thing is attracting them to the sport in the first place. To attract them will require making deliberate attempts at getting them, by inviting them to the sports halls to watch matches. Above all, is the success of the national teams. Nothing attracts new players like successes of the national teams”.
Aye has some fond memories of his time in the national team “I was at the 1995 Harare, 1999 Johannesburg and the 2003 Africa Games. In both Joburg and Abuja we won Silver medals losing in the final. In Harare we finished with the Bronze medal” the former Dunkerque Volley of France player looks back with a smile.
To Aye the North African countries of Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria are so well ahead of the rest of Africa in Volleyball that “They can form three separate teams – team A, B and C – and use the lesser teams for Africa Games while their main teams are used for World Championships and Olympics qualifiers. It is to get to that level I aspire and desire for Nigeria Volleyball”
Aye is a qualified Volleyball coach and is the Technical Director at Halluin Volley, France.
*Formerly All Africa Games