By Esther Okoi zone
Determined to ensure the total reformation, excellent performance and upgrade of the Cross River Rovers FC from the Nigeria National League to the Premier League in the next session, the State Governor, Senator (Prof.) Ben Ayade has put modalities on ground to employ the tactical skills of a foreign coach, Dorain Marin for the team.
Speaking during an interaction with the prospective coach for team Rovers FC at the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Governor Ayade noted that Cross River State is a breeding ground for unbeatable talents and a veritable shopping ground for unique talents, adding that his germane concern for the State is harnessing the talents of young Crossriverians to showcase the usefulness in their youthfulness and make the club a scouting ground for great talents for foreign clubs.
The Governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Comrade Asu Okang, recalled that Rovers FC had in the past produced great talents sought after by the Country in the likes of Finidi George and Friday Ekpo. He stated that for twenty two (22) years, the club has been in relegation, thereby remaining in the National League, stressing that his desire is to see the club in the Premier League and parading players once again that the country would desire to play in the national team.
He informed that the coach would also be required to groom young coaches to become the best nationally and who can take over from him, while welcoming him to enjoy Africa’s warmest welcome and also extend his stay to enjoy Africa’s largest street party – Calabar Carnival.
Welcoming the visitors, the Chairman, Rovers FC, Calabar, Mr. Maurice Inok described Prof. Ayade as a goal getter who aims for and attains the best, expressing confidence that the Governor would ensure that the club is repositioned for great exploits through his influence and commitment to sports in the State. He added that expectations are that with the restructuring of Rover FC, more value will be added to the team and the great talents resident there would be better managed to produce better result and return the club back to its days of glory.
Also speaking, a Player and Sports Management Agent, Prince Obison Achusim of Achusim Sports who has been working with the Ministry of Youth and Sports to engage one of the best coaches for Rovers FC inferred that he knows what is best for the club and so contacted Coach Dorain Marin, who among the last nine coaches considered to manage the Nigeria National Team. He stated that what the team needs right now is a coach that can infuse a good tactical and practical knowledge into the team, adding that all that is needed is team work and a motivating spirit from the players and management of the team.
Giving an introduction of himself, Coach Dorain Marin revealed that he was a professional footballer and attended the Federal Coaching school of the Romanian Football Federation; began his coaching career in Romania; managed clubs in Syrian, Lebanon; coached the Eritrea National Football team and the Eritrea under-17 simultaneously and qualified the Eritrea U17 side at the 2007 African U17 Championship in Togo; also coached Nalubaale FC and Uganda Revenue Authority in Uganda; Heartland of Owerri; Kind Faisal Babes of Ghana and the Leopards of Kenyan. He appreciated Comrade Okang and the Management of rovers for their show of hospitality and warm welcome.
It would be recalled that Eritrea registered massive improvement in the FIFA rankings during the tenure of Coach Dorain Marin, climbing 56 positions from 117 to 121 also in attendance were: Team Manager Rovers FC, Mr. Ebam Ejen; Member, Sports Commission, Ekanem Ekpenyong; among others.