By: Omolade Adnan.
For me I know you but for the sake of Leregist readers, I want you to introduce yourself.
My name is Adewale Sapara, I live at No. 7 Ilelogo street, off funsho williams avenue, Surulere. I am a professional footballer currently based in Portugal.
Ok, so at what age did you started playing football?
I started playing football at the age of 13.
Professionally, you started at what age?
I started playing professionally at the age of 18.
What is the name of your first club?
The name of my first club is Stone FC here in Nigeria.
From there you went to which club?
From Stone FC I went to Farense in Portuguese League Second Division, from Farense to Quarteirense, Sertanense, ARC Oleiros, Almancilense, ARC Oleiros and currently, Olhanense.
What was your greatest challenge in the process of becoming a professional footballer?
Argh! That is a very nice question 2x. when I started playing football, my dad really don’t want me to, which led to a lot of quarrel between us. He would tell me to go to school but I wouldn’t. also, getting a football boot was very hard for me then but I didn’t give up, I was determined and committed and as a result, I became who I am today.
Wow, so what can you say about grassroots football in Surulere?
Actually, grassroots football is important to upcoming footballers and as a result, it needs to be improved. I played on Paddington field in Surulere very well but most of my grassroots football days were spent outside Surulere due to the need for me to search for new challenges and opportunities. However, I believe the grassroots football in Surulere needs support.
Based on your experience and exposure, how do you think the Government of Surulere can contribute to the development of the grassroots football?
The people in charge of grassroots football in Surulere need to help the players improve their game by catering for them like providing accommodation or organizing camp with food available for them because some players find it hard to eat but if this can be done, it will contribute to the development and success of those players. Also, making the grassroots football in Surulere competitive is another way it can be improved. During the tenure of Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, I started playing football around that period, there was a competition known as Junior League and I participated in it with the likes of Wilfred Ndidi and Henry.
Henry, do you mean Henry Onyekuru?
Yeah, Henry Onyekuru. The competition was a great challenge and opportunity for everyone that participated in it. So I think if the Government of Surulere can do something of such, it will be very good.
Ok, so what are your aspirations?
My aspirations are to play in bigger clubs like my favourite team, Manchester United, play for Barcelona or Real Madrid and also, my country Nigeria if given the opportunity and am sure everyone will like my game.
What advice will you give to upcoming footballers in Surulere?
My advice for them is to keep on believing in their dreams and pray. They should never give up and be hard working. Thank you.