Adokiye Amiesimaka, former Super Eagles winger, says the discovery of Victor Ezeji’s soccer prowess in the 1990s turned out to be a success story.
Ezeji, a legend of the Nigeria Professional Football League, formally retired from playing active football with a testimonial match on January 7, 2017.
Amiesimaka told the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday that he discovered Ezeji as a local lad to join the defunct Sharks FC of Port Harcourt.
He said that as the chairman of Sharks FC 20 years ago, Ezeji’s privileged discovery as a local footballer made him to key into his philosophy of looking inwards.
Amiesimaka said: “I was discovering talented players and taking them through the process.
“Ezeji was one of those discovered here in Port Harcourt and brought into the club despite opposition from fans.
“The fans then preferred looking outward and bringing readymade players but I insisted on giving him a chance.
“I am very thankful that it was a success story because Ezeji has done very well for himself, for the state and for the country.
“So, I congratulate him for 20 years of outstanding performance.”
According to Amiesimaka, Ezeji’s case is special because he was in the university when Sharks FC discovered him.
He said: “Ezeji’s case was quite interesting because as at the time I discovered him, he was in the university and he expressed doubt if he could play football at that level and still face his studies.
“I encouraged him by telling him that I did the same; I was a law student at the University of Lagos, even though most people did not believe that it was possible to combine academics and sports.
“By the grace of God, I did it successfully and he did too. He was resolved to succeed and I am happy that he succeeded.”
Amiesimaka said that Ezeji deserved the honour done him with the testimonial match and commended the Rivers Government for supporting and hosting the game.
Ezeji played for Sharks and Dolphins FC of Port Harcourt and Enyimba International of Aba before his retirement.
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