The IFUMSA Football League (IFL) is a major highlight of the sports arm of the OAU Medical Students’ Association. And for two seasons now, the tournament has earned the to-watch-for tag from participants and other football-loving IFUMSAites.
A MediVoice correspondent met with Olatunji, the coach of the Tenacious (Part 2) squad in an exclusive interview. This is what he has to say about his team’s performance in relation to the concluded IFL.
This is your second time playing in the IFUMSA Football League, finishing bottom of the table last year. How optimistic were you, and how much belief did you have coming into the tournament?
We were very optimistic! Definitely, we wanted to have a better finish than we did last year.
Reflecting on the losses your team sustained during this tournament and your final position, what factors contributed to the team’s performance?
We have a little squad. No subs. We often had to finish games with the same eleven that started the match.
During challenging moments throughout the League, mainly when the results weren’t forthcoming after a beautiful display on the pitch, how did you motivate your players to keep going?
We played our best game against Excelsiors but lost narrowly. It was an excruciating defeat. Getting the team to forget about it and focus on the next round was challenging. We deserved more, but that’s football.
Did your team suffer any setbacks, and how could you cope/bounce back from those setbacks?
We couldn’t field our best 11 on most occasions. Due to one reason or the other, some key players were always missing during match days.
Can you describe any adjustments you made during the League to address the team’s weaknesses and capitalise on their strengths?
We tried a lot of tweaks, but it didn’t work out. Hopefully, we get it right before the Wale Okediran Cup. Back to the drawing board!
What did the final league game feel like knowing Exypnos’ title hopes of winning the League lay in the outcome of the game?
Although we wanted to put a dent in their title ambitions e conceded early, which was not good for us. They had a great first half and scored the 3 goals; we had a better second half.
Do you think you deserve to have ended up in a higher position seeing your team’s performance during the IFUMSA football league?
Yes, we should have finished in a higher position.
What steps will you take to ensure your team improves in the coming weeks, particularly with the Wake Okediran competition approaching?
Recruit more players and train more!
What lessons did you learn from this League, and how would you assess the League generally?
You will only sometimes have things go your way, but never stop working. The League is a solid 7/10. Kudos to the Director of Sports, Cupid; he did a great job!
Do you have any words for your supporters?
Thank you for your support throughout the tournament; we apologise for disappointing you. We’ll come back stronger for the Wale Okediran Cup.