Yenagoa — Ex-Bayelsa United captain, Tarilaye Nwankwe has urged youths who dream of becoming professional footballers to also take education seriously as he said both play important roles in the development of individual talents.
Nwankwe, who is also the former Chairman of Bayelsa Queens Football Club, said his exploits as a player in the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) during his days was due to that fact that he is educated.
While speaking with sports writers in Yenagoa recently, Nwankwe added that his family background made it easy for him to combine sports and education during his stay as a player of the Bayelsa United.
He said while playing for Bayelsa United from 2000 to 2013, his family encouraged him to combine his career with education, noting that the present crop of players in the Nigerian league can also take a cue.
Popularly called ‘Skippo’ during his playing days, Nwankwe who has a degree in Mathematics from the University of Ibadan and a Master’s degree from the University of Port Harcourt, explained that the reason for his success story was made possible by effective time management and sacrifice.
“It is not always easy but it pays to combine football with education. You may be talented but if you are not educated, you may not go far in your chosen career.
“I attribute my success to my decision to further my education even when I was playing in the Nigerian Premier League,” he said.
The former NPFL star also emphasized that the extravagant life by players and failure to plan while playing were some of the reasons some footballers find life challenging after retirement.