Today, it is a thing of joy for parents to hear that their wards are invited to any of the national team camps. But for young Adebayo Gbadebo, the reverse was his case as his parents stopped paying his school fees in his final year at the University of Ibadan for playing football and got invited to the Super Eagles camp.
Gbadebo, who is now a Pro-licensed coach in Thailand disclosed this while speaking during the monthly Ex-University of Ibadan Footballers Association virtual interactive session.
He said: “My parents did not support my going into football. I was discouraged, though they knew that I was good at the game, but my father stood against it. The parents then only want you to read and go to school all through. I thank God for that, if not I could not be here today as a graduate from the Premier University in Nigeria. I thank God for a father who will take his stand at every point, and remain on it.”
Adebayo, who is the head coach of the Thailand Premier League side, Suphanburi, added that his father warned him against playing football in the University.
“My father warned me seriously not to play football in the University, but contrary to his expectations, I started playing for my hall of residence the same week I resumed in the school, and played for the school team the same year.
“I was playing for several clubs like 7Up FC, Union Bank FC and Railways FC. It was when I was with Railway that they decided to play in the second tier of the league then, and they moved the team to Lagos. When we went to NUGA games in Port Harcourt, I was selected to join the Super Eagles in camp. I was in the hall one afternoon and I was told that my father was looking for me.
He came all the way from Lagos. I took him to my room, he brought out a newspaper and showed me a page, while asking me if that was my name among the players invited to Super Eagles camp. I answered in affirmative and he left. I was in my final year then. That was the end of his sponsoring me in school. Because, I disobeyed his order,” Gbadebo said.
He however advocated that combining football and education is a personal issue that the player would need to organize himself based on what he wants. “It all depends on the quality of the player. If you are good, clubs will come for you and support you on how to succeed in your education. But, if you do not have the qualities, just concentrate on your education and finish up,” he concluded.
Disclaimer: The Post ‘My Father Stopped My School Fees After Super Eagles Call-up‘ was first Published by Agency Reporton leadership.ng.