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U-20: Tottenham’s Omolabi wants to lead Nigeria to glory

*Rave reviews trail exploits of Moroyin

*Netted his first competitive goal for club

By Olajide Fashikun

Moroyin Omolabi ...on club duty. Got his first competitive goal for club
Moroyin Omolabi …on club duty. Got his first competitive goal for club

Nigerian central midfielder Moroyin Omolabi is hoping to break into the first team of Tottenham Hotspur in future.
Born in Walthamstow, England, the 17-year-old is one of the talented players at the Spurs Academy and was offered a two-year scholarship before the start of the 2016-2017 campaign. He has been with the club for the past five years.
Omolabi starred for Tottenham Hotspur U-16 team last term and was promoted to the U-18 squad ahead of the new season. His main ambition is not just the club but wants to lead the Nigerian cadet national team to greater honours. I have a deep craving to make the name of Nigeria so great in football.

He was one of the three Nigerian youngsters in action for the U-18 squad. The other two are Aramide Oteh and Timothy Eyoma. Moroyin Omolabi represented Ryan FC prior to his move to Tottenham Hotspur.

Moroyin Omolabi...crowded by opponents but has his eyes representing Nigeria
Moroyin Omolabi…crowded by opponents but has his eyes representing Nigeria

A central midfielder who when club duty calls switch positions featuring in the central defence.

Tottenham head of development John McDermott told the club website: “Moroyin Omolabi, playing at centre-half, stood out against their front players who were very good. There were a lot of positives today and I was very proud of the way we played.

Omole praises for Omolabi: Celebrated England-based Nigerian football manager, Otunba Gbenga Omole was called for what he knows about Moroyin Omolabi. He said, “that is one exceptional talent. When I read somewhere that he has an eye on playing for Nigeria, I was thrilled and had concluded plans that when I return to Nigeria I will make contacts for the cadet football scouts to rush and talk to him. You need to see him play to appreciate the bundle of talents in that young man.”

Tottenham Hotspurs U-18 team
Tottenham Hotspurs U-18 team

Omole in another 24 hours had found out the parents of the player he called ‘phenomenon’ accessing us to talk to him. For Spurs to have kept him for five years means there is something about him.

His family: Moroyin’s father was also a fantastic footballer. He captained the University of Agriculture in Makurdi as an undergraduate before leaving for Europe where he had a stint in football before veering to academics.

Ifeoluwa and Tomiwa are two of Moroyin’s brothers. These kids love Nigeria despite being born in England. We hail from Abeokuta but I grew up in Lagos before I moved to England some 30 years ago.

The wonderful woman behind all of us is Mrs Olayinka Omolabi. She is from Ado-Ekiti. One day someday, we shall come to a stadium to watch Moroyin achieve his goal of playing for Nigeria. He once told me “I will be in the anchor position leading Nigeria to the 2022 World Cup. Dad, watch out for me.”

Moroyin Omolabi...wants to be in the centre of 2022 Super Eagles
Moroyin Omolabi…wants to be in the centre of 2022 Super Eagles

Omen of great things to come: While the interview was going on, news filtered in that Moroyin just scored for his club again. Noise suddenly erupted in the house.

His club’s website: www.tottenhamhotspur.com said: “Moroyin Omolabi celebrated his maiden competitive goal in the colours of Tottenham Hotspur as they claimed a 3-1 win over West Ham United in the U-18 Premier League on Saturday (14th October 2017).

And it was a crucial goal as the Hammers were threatening a comeback after Bernado Rusa netted in the 71st minute to make it 2-1.

A minute later, the talented Nigerian midfielder made the game safe for Spurs when he fired a volley past goalkeeper Ros Harvey.

Prior to Omolabi’s strike against West Ham, he had been involved in 20 league games for Spurs U18s and U23 teams spread across two seasons without finding the net.

Primarily a holding midfielder, he can also be asked to operate as a central defender just as he did today against the Hammers.

The 17-year-old joined Tottenham Hotspur from Ryan FC in Waltham Forest.

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