Super Eagles and Anorthosis Famagusta of Cyprus utility player Shehu Abdullahi has launched his Foundation in Sokoto State, The Shehu Abdullahi Foundation.
The 2016 Olympics Bronze medalist will meet with Youths and young footballers of his community in Sokoto State on Tuesday in a bid to give back to the community.
In this Exclusive chat with Naijafootballplus.com the former Kano Pillars player revealed his plans and talks about the football season in Europe.
Naijafootballplus: How have you been spending your holiday?
Abdullahi: It has been fun after a long season in Europe and national team assignments. It’s cool to spend some time with family and friends. I’m based in Sokoto and I have been meeting with my old friends to catch fun. I have also traveled across the North with friends and the experience is worth everything.
Naijafootballplus: How would you describe the season for you and your team in the Cypriot Premier League?
Abdullahi: It was a tough season for us and the league in Cyprus is very competitive. People think the league is easy to play but I must confess it’s one of the toughest league’s in Europe. The calendar and the number of matches are huge. We wanted to finish high and earn a place to play in Europe but we had little set back during the season, we also got close to the Cup final. The experience in Cyprus has made me a better player. The fact that the coach likes to play me either in the midfield or right back has improved my game.
Naijafootballplus: Your acrobatic goal was nominated in the best goal category at the end of season awards night. How would you describe scoring such an amazing goal?
Abdullahi: I was happy when I got nominated, I thought I had a chance to win the award but I finished second in the rating, I’m excited about my nomination. Anytime I got to play from the midfield, I push myself into goal scoring positions. We went for a set piece situation and the ball got to me, I was just in the mood and I made effort for it. An acrobatic kick, I saw the ball come to me and I did it. I felt excited watching the highlights, some of those things I engaged myself in during training.
Naijafootballplus: Let’s talk about the National team, what went wrong with the Super Eagles against South Africa?
Abdullahi: I have to apologize to Nigerians once again, we understand they aren’t happy with us and we are not happy with ourselves too. I think we got a good preparation and kudos to the Federation for the Corsica and Togo games. Honestly, we got everything perfect going into the game and the motivation was high. It was just a bad day for us as a team, we were unbeaten in six matches before the defeat. Just a bad day for the team, we were destined to lose. It’s painful we lost such important game in front of our fans. We have picked up the pieces and we have made commitments to bounce back as quick as possible, we have to put this aside and concentrate on the future. We are also pleading to our fans to forgive us and look at the future with us. We need their support and prayers to defeat Cameroon in September.
Naijafootballplus: You are planning to launch your Foundation on Tuesday, tell us more about that?
Abdullahi: The process of the Foundation have been alive for a while now. After every season I always give back to my community in Sokoto. I visited the charity homes and give support with food and cash. I have done that few days ago, but we are extending the love of the Foundation to footballers in Sokoto. We have many talents and football academies in Sokoto that need enhancement. On Tuesday, the Foundation will be giving out kits consisting of boots, jerseys and balls to hundreds of footballers in Sokoto. There’s a State League here with several academies using the platform to nurture talents. It has two divisions. And the first league division has 20 teams, the Foundation will finance payment for the 20 teams registration to be part of the new season State League.
This is the first of such in Sokoto and it’s environs and we have invited the Government to encourage the Foundation and give hope to the Youths in Sokoto. We have plans to expand our support for footballers in Sokoto as the year progresses.
Naijafootballplus: What are your plans for the new season, are you staying one more year in Cyprus?
Abdullahi: The holiday will soon be over, I’m looking forward to a better season. I wish to keep my next move secret for now as many discussions are ongoing. It won’t be professional enough to start talking about my next football decision when my representative and my club are working on several options. Let’s just wait and see what the next few weeks would offer, you can be sure I will communicate with your medium for any news.
Naijafootballplus: We wish you all the best with your Foundation and your career.
Abdullahi: Thanks, I’m honoured to chat with this great medium.
Shehu Abdullahi was speaking to Adepoju Tobi of Naijafootballplus.com