By: Pelumi Adeniyi
There was a time when female football was watched for comic effect. People, males especially, watch female football to amuse themselves and see some funny stuff. Female football was filled with so many errors and amateur mistakes, they coming to watch for comic effects was valid. It is safe to say that Female football has improved significantly in recent years. This session, all the female football teams in the University of Ibadan have improved considerably. It is no longer a game of screaming, air kicking and unnecessary handballs. It has now become a very competitive game—a game filled with so much passion. Anybody watching the games in recent times can tell of the passion our girls put into games. Anyone who has a misconception about female football will have it cleared after watching any female football match at the University of Ibadan.
The inter hall female football competition showed significant improvements in the standard of play in female football. Starting from the first match of the day; Queen Idia hall vs Queen Elizabeth Hall. Although there were astonishing five goals in the game, it was end to end. What made it spectacular is that the five goals were not just scored by just one side. Queen Idia hall scored three goals while Queen Elizabeth Hall scored 2. The game was intense. Even after going two goals down, Queen Elizabeth Hall refused to give up and pulled one back to make it three goals to 2. If the time had elongated, Queen Elizabeth Hall might have equalized. Both sides had the fighting spirit and passion, which is another thing that shows the growth in Female football. They do not just want to play anymore; they now want to win. They are now passionate about the game. This has contributed significantly and positively to the brand of football they play. It has affected the outlook of Female Football in the University of Ibadan.
Obafemi Awolowo hall vs Alexander Brown Hall is another match that showed significant growth in the University of Ibadan’s female football teams. Obafemi Awolowo Hall was impressive in the game against Alexander Brown; they were completely and utterly dominant. Alexander Brown hall also played some fantastic football, but they could not stop Awolowo Hall from winning. The game ended two goals to 0 in favour of Obafemi Awolowo Hall. The game was also quite intense, end to end. Spectators watching the match could tell that it was not the female football they used to know. They could see that it was a new and improved style of football, a quality brand of football.
Several things have contributed to this growth and improvement in the brand of Female football at the University of Ibadan. Several factors put together improved the brand. The first factor that contributed to the growth and improvement is –the support that is being given to the female football team.
There has been incredible support from whichever department, faculty and hall they represent. For instance, in Awolowo Hall, the screams and sounds of jubilation rang around the hall at the realization that they made it to the finals. The match itself saw Awoites come out to support their team. The game between Queen Idia Hall and Queen Elizabeth had a sizeable number of supporters from both sides. The support and encouragement received have made the players passionate and give their all. There has also been adequate support from the school management towards female football. The Student Union Executives have also been doing their best to support female football.
The training of female teams has also improved. There is now more focus on fitness, gameplay etc. Anyone who comes to observe female football training can attest to the fact.
There is also a sizeable turnout for the female training sessions. Awolowo Hall, for instance, had a significant amount of turnout for their training. These factors have been the main driving force behind the substantial improvement and growth of female football at Ibadan. Female football is growing, and it has gone beyond amateurish.