In Conversation with Faculty of Arts Football Team Forward Player, Adewale Ibrahim a.k.a Sellica

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Veronica Giwa

ADEWALE IBRAHIM aka Sellica is a Classics and Faculty of Arts Forward that has played in some competitions organised by the faculty. Sellica participated at the just concluded Inter-faculty games, his efforts alongside other players earned the faculty a win in the competition. He also won the best male footballer and highest goal scorer of the competition.

In this interview, AFAS Press correspondent speaks with him about his experiences, his goals and aspirations.

AFAS Press: May we meet you?

Sellica: I’m Adewale Ibrahim, a 400 level student of the department of Classics, University of Ibadan.

AFAS Press: It seems you are commonly known by a nickname. What is your nickname?

Sellica: I’m popularly known as Sellica, it is a football nickname I earned while playing street football. The name has stuck ever since, from my secondary school days up until now.

AFAS Press: You started playing football from a very young age?

Sellica: Absolutely. The earliest I remember kicking a ball is as little as 5 years or thereabout. The sport has been a part of me since I was little.

AFAS Press: Interesting! What influenced you? Was it the environment you grew up in? Or you had/have siblings that play football too?

Sellica: My dad was a staunch supporter of a local football team in Ibadan, the Oluyole Warriors (Shooting Stars club of Ibadan). He used to take me to every home match and I always felt all the excitement and joy around the football pitch. My dad played football for a good number of years, he was a huge influence on my love for football.

AFAS Press: Do you play other sports besides football?

Sellica: I do not, for now. At some point I did, but football sort of took over completely.

AFAS Press: You are in 400 level now, can you describe your journey so far as a popular Sportsman in UI?

Sellica: I do not have much history with sports in the university generally, because my participation in UI sports (football) has been very little, due to other commitments I have outside the university. However, I have played enough to actually have people talk about me.

My biggest participation has been in different football competitions hosted by AFAS. From the Dean’s Cup, to the Super Four, amongst others. So yes, it’s been memorable. There’s been a few wins and a few losses, a few medals, and a few heartbreaks of losing finals. But it’s been a super enjoyable one.

AFAS Press: You play for your department and the faculty, but do you also play for the University?

Sellica: I have, on several occasions, rejected chances to represent the school at major football events due to my commitments outside of school. I really wish I could participate in them, but I have had so much on my plate. It would have been tedious. It is a lot of work to be a student of UI, everyone knows this.

AFAS Press: Yes. So, what position (s) do you play in?

Sellica: I play on the right wing or the left wing in attack.

AFAS Press: How do you balance football with academics?

Sellica: Good question. It’s the major reason why playing for UI has been difficult. I shuffle classes with everyday training outside campus, which is a crazy schedule for any human. I travel long distances every weekday to catch up with classes and training. It has been a lot and I cannot tell how I survived, but I did. I cannot even tell how I do it. It is just wild.

AFAS Press: You go for training everyday?

Sellica: Every day except Sundays.

AFAS Press: To be clear, you have a team you play for outside UI?

Sellica: I do. A football academy.

AFAS Press: Is the training site in Ibadan, or you have to travel to and fro everyday?

Sellica: More like traveling in essence. From the University of Ibadan to Ibadan/Abeokuta expressway every day, I consider it traveling. I train at Apata, it is an hour (or more) drive by car, without traffic, but there is always traffic. UI to Apata is no joke, it is basically two far ends of Ibadan.

AFAS Press: That is a lot of sacrifice. How do you feel being a part of the team that won the Inter-faculty competition?

Sellica: I feel absolutely elated. The win is a proper icing on my university cake. I enjoyed every bit of that triumph.

AFAS Press: What was your biggest motivation during the final match, because the finals seemed really tough?

Sellica: It was tough, we had suffered as a team and we actually needed to win it. We went into the final as favourites, but that really can be dangerous in football games. And luckily for us, we won. It was a tightly contested game and I personally had a tough time, but at times you do not even have to play too well to edge it. And we did it, we won it.

AFAS Press: Which match has been your toughest match so far in UI?

Sellica: Definitely the Inter-faculty finals.

AFAS Press: Which player (s) in UI would you say you have the most sync/synergy with the most during football games?

Sellica: It definitely would be Victor in Classics. We have played so well together.

AFAS Press: Who is the toughest defender you have had to contend with in UI?

Sellica: Adewas of Philosophy.

AFAS Press: Which goalkeeper gave you a tough time?

Sellica: I cannot remember, to be honest, but I think a certain Linguistics goalkeeper stood out in a match against us.

AFAS Press: Who is your favorite football icon in Nigeria and beyond?

Sellica: Kanu Nwankwo for Nigeria, Lionel Messi for outside Nigeria.

AFAS Press: How would you describe the sporting facilities in the university?

Sellica: To be honest, besides academics, sporting activities and facilities in UI are nothing to write home about. Sport is equally important as other factors, for any growing society, but sadly not many measures are put in place for sport growth in the university.

AFAS Press: Do you wish to pursue football as a career path after school?

Sellica: Of course. A football career is the dream.

AFAS Press: Would you play for the country if you get the chance?

Sellica: I definitely want to wear the colours of my country in a football game.

AFAS Press: What would be your advice to an upcoming player that looks up to you?

Sellica: I’d advise them to never settle until they have all they want. Train hard, get good rests, and push yourself to be better and bigger. It is difficult sometimes, but no successful person had it all easy. It is part of the process. Be ready to work for it.

AFAS Press: Is there any other random thing you would like to add?

Sellica: Life is short, do whatever makes you happy.

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