Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) Championship side Naija Ratels Captain Paulina Ali has shown real character as the leader of the team ever since she was made captain over two years ago.
The charismatic defender recently revealed how she started the round leather game as a kid and how her parents never supported her in the beginning.
The young player believes that she has grown as a leader and player in Naija Ratels and owes the club a lot of responsibilities, reasons why she never left the club, despite receiving offers from some of the biggest teams in the NWFL Premiership.
“For me, Football is the only thing that makes me happy. Football is life and is glad I can do what I love doing here at Naija Ratels.
“I started out with volleyball and was very good at it, until one of my teachers at Padopads Secondary School, Makurdi convinced me to start playing soccer, probably because of my height. I fell in love with the game afterward and never looked back.
“Just like many young women footballers, my parents never supported me playing football. My mum was always against it and punish me at times. But I was determined and wanted to achieve something great with the game and that pushed me to be where I am today, even though I know I still have a long way to go.
“I must confess that I have improved tremendously, both as a person and a player under Naija Ratels and we all have a special love for the club and President, Barrister Paul Edeh, who stands as a father figure to all of us.
“We owe the club and the President a lot and that’s why we are so dedicated and determined to always win all our games.
On being Captain of a Championship team at a very young age, Paulina said it has been tasking, but yet rewarding.
“Being a leader means you have to be always ready to lay down good examples. It has been tasking, but yet very rewarding. It has made me grow positively as a person and see life from a different perspective. It also makes me work harder on the pitch because I always want to win games and excel in everything I do and this is the same mentality I pass on to every member of the team.”
“I have told the girls that they need to do something extraordinary when the Championship season starts. We know our aim and our ability as dedicated and hardworking players will always stand out and work for us. We are focused and only aiming at setting a great record.” She concluded.
Naija Ratels will be playing in the NWFL Championship season later this year and will be aiming at gaining promotion to the elite league at their first trial.