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Call U-23 Squad Naija Eagles

Teeming readers of SportsDay at home and abroad have voted massively in favour of Naija Eagles as the new official name of the ujnder-23 national team. This comes from the verdict of an influx of entries gathered all through the past month in the under-23 renaming campaign organised by Nigeria’s fresh face of sports journalism, SportsDay, the comprehensive report of which is which is presented this week in BIG STORY….

Split Decision Decides Winning Name
-As Fans Rate Naija Eagles 1st Twice, 2nd Once
The decisive vote in deciding the outcome of the under-23 national team’s official name campaign organised by SportsDay came through a split decision on entries across three outlets – internet, public opinion and cut-out coupons by post.

The online vote was determined through Twitter @sportsdayonline and @nweekender, facebook.com/sportsdayonline and facebook.com/nationalweekeneder.net as well as www.sportsdayonline.com and www.nationalweekender.net all through the month of February.

The public opinion cast came through one-on-one interactions and interviews with choice members of the public across various locations as well as via text messages on 08066943628.

The third method of voting in determining the new name for the team came via cut-out coupons from the advertorial on the back page of SportsDay, which ran intermittently all through February.

After collation of all votes cast by keen readers and soccer followers, Naija Eagles took pole position on the overall log, despite placing second behind Olympic Eagles on the internet entries.

The online entries via SportsDay’s website and the social media appeared to give Olympic Eagles an edge in the search for an official tag for the under-23 team, until collations for the newspaper cuttings and vox pop rolled in.

That marked the turning point, as Olympic Eagles suffered massive losses on both counts, placing third via posted and hand delivered hard copies public opinion at SportsDay corporate office, 19, Gbemisola Street, off Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos.

Dream Team Is Obsolete – Alaiya

The under-23 renaming campaign packaged by SportsDay newspaper came up as a result of cogent points raised by the editor-in-chief, CEO, Mr Ben Alaiya, who has always been critical of repeated use of ‘Dream Team’ to describe the side.

The immediate past media officer of the Super Eagles rightfully voiced out that the tag ‘Dream Tea’ is no longer fashionable as the Americans who coined it for their star-studded basketball squad to the Olympics have since jettisoned the sobriquet.

Alaiya further reckoned that dwindling form exhibited by the squad in recent competitions, before finally winning last year’s Africa U-23 Nations Cup in Senegal, hardly typified a ‘dream team.’

He also pointed out that recent under-23 squad lacks the same array of stars that populated the pioneer selection that went to Atlanta ’96 Olympics and returned home as the first African team to claim the soccer gold.

SportsDay editor, Sam O’Femi Olusetire expatiated on Alaiya’s line of thought and stated further that the renaming campaign is in response to reservations being expressed by many Nigerian soccer lovers that it is becoming complex to keep counting up to ‘Dream Team 6’ and beyond.

He noted that the same nomenclature continues being used for the squad over the years, in spite of their inability to live up to the billing of the original side that took the world by storm in 1996.

“Since we are the fresh face of sports journalism, we took it upon ourselves to lead a campaign for an official name for the under-23 team.

“Our readers would have noticed over the years that we at SportsDay have always shied away from calling the side ‘Dream Team,’ not because we do not believe in their ability, but because we know that tag is outdated.

“Our editor-in-chief, Ben Alaiya, has always made it clear that we should as much as possible avoid using Dream Team. Even when we use stories from the internet, we always edit and use the appropriate tag – Under-23 National Team.

“It has become imperative for the team to get an official name, as we cannot keep calling them Dream Team until we get to a number that is too big to use in the media.

“That’s why we created a means through which our readers and other members of the public would be able to vote the name of their choice for the team.

“We also made the campaign assessable to the international community by expanding it to our websites and social media,” Olusetire submitted.

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