Dr Ishaya Pam, the Proprietor, JUTH FC, a Division One league outfit, said on Monday that the club discovered Super Eagles attacking midfielder, Ahmed Musa, at the Bukuru Academy.
“He (Musa) was less than 16 then. We discovered him and engaged him to play for us,’’
Pam, Chief Medical Director of the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), disclosed this in Jos.
“Now, that `small boy’ has brought so much joy to Nigerians today and you just cannot quantify the impact of that discovery in Naira and Kobo.
“So, when you are watching the national team, you can proudly say that JUTH produced that `small boy’ and made him a star. If we did not exist, he may not have had the opportunity,’’ he said.
Pam said that the football club started in the 1990s as a form of relaxation, after the hospital authorities noticed the nexus between regular exercise and the fight against diabetes and hypertension.
“The team was formed as part of the JUTH’s corporate responsibility, but it has since grown from the amateur league to Division two, Division one, and we have now been in the premiership league for two seasons,’’ he said.
The proprietor also debunked the idea that running a soccer outfit was very expensive.
“I think with prudent management, a lot can be achieved.
“The club is run by members of staff of JUTH here. They do this purely out of interest in sports development, especially in the area of talent hunt,’’ he said.
Pam said that the situation was much easier when premier league clubs were given a grant to support their expenditure, adding that the Plateau Government had been very supportive of the soccer outfit.
He said that the club had also helped the state government’s quest for peace as players from diverse warring groups played together as team mates, thereby encouraging more friendships.
“The team has also ensured more employment for the youths and checked idleness among them. When such youths are engaged, they will have no time to cause any trouble or be used by those seeking to fan the embers of hatred.’’
Pam, however, hinted of plans to privatise the club so as to diversify its ownership and also enhance its growth.
“Currently, we are limited by the resources at our disposal, which is meagre. We are already in search of partners to buy into the club for its progress,’’ he added.