Proprietor of wave-making Ottasolo Football Club of Lagos, Gabriel Davies, has said that his passion for the round leather game spurred his empowerment programme for former players
The former Stationery Stores and Mogas ’90 of Benin star said even in retirement, football was his life and that led to the setting up of Ottasolo Football Club of Lagos.
“Football gives me joy and I am comfortable with it anywhere. I am a former player and when I look back at my fellow colleagues, I feel bad that many struggle to make ends meet. I also passed through a tough road to get where I am now.
“So what I do now is to empower some ex-players and also guide some current players to grow well in their career. We have a meeting place around Command in Ipaja, where we meet Saturdays to play and socialize.
“Football as a sport has a bus stop and when a player gets his bus stop, he has to look elsewhere. The Empowerment Ottasolo All Stars is very strong and supportive to former players to give them fresh hope.”
Davies, through the programme, grants loans to former players without collateral on a regular basis, while also providing mentorship talks to the ex-players.
“They sign documents to collect the loans and we advise them to use it wisely. So far we have had no issues and we are getting better as friends.”
On Ottasolo FC, Davies expressed joy that within a short time, the team is gradually making impact in the Nigerian football scene.
The Owode-based team has been registered as an amateur club in the Nigerian National League as a Lagos team.
“We played in the Wike Football Tourney just late last year in Port Harcourt and it was a nice experience. We have seven of our players already in the Nigeria Professional Football League through the pre-season tourney while one is going abroad.
“The success story within a short time is a driving force for us to better in the football league and we also intend to take it as good business,” Davies added.
Source: The Nation