A few weeks ago, the second edition of the IFUMSA Football League ended with the Green Dragons emerging champions – an experience they had never had.
MediVoice engaged Coach Cupid, the brain and driving force behind the triumphant team’s victory. In these words, the true essence of their victory emerges.
Medivoice: How do you feel winning your first trophy as a class?
Cupid: Words can’t express how I feel. Emotions! So happy for the team cause they have worked really hard and they deserve it! This is a trophy that has always eluded us year in, year out. The last time we got to the final but we lost. But, look who got the last laugh? The green dragons😂😂😂
Medivoice: How would you assess your team’s performance in the league.
Cupid: Everybody knows that the Exypnos team is one of the best teams in IFUMSA. The statistics attest to this fact. No conceding a goal throughout the competition show how good we were defensively. A team conceded 17 while we conceded none. It was a stellar performance from the team and a feat that will be difficult to replicate by any team for years to come.
Medivoice: What were the strengths and weaknesses of your team throughout the season?
Cupid: Every team has their strengths and weaknesses but I think we were able to mask ours well while capitalizing on our strengths. We have the best goalkeeper in IFUMSA in person of Paulo. We also have one of the best attackers in the league, Toluwani (he was the most valuable player in the tournament as well). I’ll say we had this team spirit and bond that gave us confidence going into every match. Our weakness? Let the other coaches find that out😂
Medivoice: Was there any matches or moments that stood out for you?
Cupid: Yes. People would say the final match was the classic. But I beg to differ. The match that won us the league was the second game week, the match against our immediate seniors, the stalwarts class. Overtime, we have always found it difficult to defeat them because they are that good. But after careful analysis how they play this time, I found a way to shut their attackers out. We were the only team they couldn’t score against.This show our level of preparedness as a team. It was a game that meant a lot to the boys and it was a match that had our pride on the line and we gave our all that day. I’ll say that was the match that won us the league.
Medivoice: What were the main challenges your team faced during the league? How did you overcome them?
Cupid: The main challenges we faced during the cause of this league was injury problems and the hectic part 4 schedule. We all know part 4 is the most difficult class in med school. Lots of stuffs to read, postings, evenings classes and all. It was difficult to get boys together to train so we go into every match with just simulations and verbal instructions.
We also had our major guys injured. Our talisman, Dr. Bush played with injury throughout. Our RB was also injured and was only able to play just one match in the league. I had to convert players and restructure the team as a whole while also tweaking our game plans and formation to accommodate for the injuries.
Medivoice: Your team had a lot of setbacks due to injuries of some of your key players. Do you think this affected your team’s performance in any way?
Cupid: Yes, the injuries were a major challenge and there are games we could have won with a landslide. We could have won the game against Excelsiors if we have a full house. We could have also scored more goals but the boys pulled through regardless. Kudos to everyone. Also, our supporters and fans were always there to cheer us up throughout the league.
Medivoice: People say your team was built around one man, we all know him, Toluwani, the stats say something similar. Do you agree with this theory?
Cupid: I wouldn’t agree with this. Toluwani is a good player, one of our best players but the team is not built solely around him. Football is a team effort. He’s a crucial players to us and he’s our major threat going forward but he’s more of a creator than a goalscorer. Desperate times called for desperate measures. He’s indispensable but it is called a team for a reason. In the final, he wasn’t really in his best form but the team found a way to win with 3-0. We win together, we lose together. That’s how our team is built. Coherence and synchronicity.
Medivoice: What lessons did you and your team learn from this league? Anything you will do differently next time?
We really learnt a lot from this league. One of them is to never underestimate the place of fans in football. We could have lost the final because our morale was down at some point but our fans were there to give us moral support and we couldn’t afford to let them down again after we disappointed them last year.
Medivoice: Is there anything you will like to prove upon ahead of the Wale Okediran competition?
There are always things to improve on. We all saw that the standard of football in IFUMSA has really improved. A lot of players have got better. We played free flowing football from the part 1 to the part 6 class. People that came to watch the matches thought it was the school team that was playing. Things we can improve on include getting Ifumsaites to be more involved and also making sure that officiating becomes better.
Medivoice: What are the lessons you picked up during this tournament and do you think they will help you going further?
Cupid: This tournament thought me a lot. It made me realize that you cannot achieve anything alone. The success of this tournament was as a result of collaboration with different stakeholders. Ifumsaites sponsored us financially, the sports media team did a good job with the graphics and captions. Members of the sports committee were there to help with logistics. This is me appreciating everyone for a job well done. Thanks to them. That’s why we can all stand here to say we had a good tournament, one of the best in the history of IFUMSA.
Medivoice: What is your goal for the Wale Okediran Competition starting soon?
Cupid: My goal for Wale Okediran is crystal clear. To have a better tournament! One that’ll bring everyone together, foster unity between classes and also improve our quality of football so we can be adequately prepared for external competitions.
Wale Okediran is coming and it promises to be bigger and better. Watch out!