If you’re looking to get into 5-a-side in Nigeria, here are a few things to note.
Whether you’re in Asaba or Zaria, you are likely to find a 5-a-side football pitch around you nowadays. 5-a-side is fast becoming the game of choice, not just because it is less expensive to set up, but also because it provides more physical and mental intensity than 11-a-side football.
Aside from football centres, locations such as parks, gardens and hotels are increasingly providing 5-a-side facilities. Generally, the number of venues for 5-a-side football in Nigeria is increasing steadily as the awareness and love for the game grows.
Single-player or group bookings
Unlike 11-a-side pitches where you could struggle to get a game if you are not a part of the team, 5-a-side venues usually offer sessions where you can stroll in, pay and play with a random group of players. Alternatively, you could get together with friends, colleagues, or teammates and book a group session.
Even though many people feel more comfortable playing with their friends or people they are already acquainted with, joining a random group or open session is a great way to meet new people and make new friends, especially if you find yourself in a new city. So, if you are not already part of a team or you cannot get your friends to tag along, that shouldn’t stop you from getting your footie action going.
Most 5-a-side facilities are equipped with floodlights, for playing at night (or even during an eclipse). Night games is a great idea for those who fancy footie on weekdays after working hours. Indeed, it has proven to be a hit with people who want to play on a Friday evening, then hit the shower and changing room, before hitting the streets for a Friday Night Out.
No sliding tackles
Make no mistake about it - 5-a-side football can be as physical as it gets and body strength might be a useful asset because of the close contact and proximity of other players due to the small(er) pitch size. However, sliding tackles are usually not allowed, so as to protect players from the risk of injury.
While this might be heartbreaking for defenders, we urge you to borrow a leaf from the book of the legendary Italian defender, Paolo Maldini, who said: “If I have to make a tackle then I have already made a mistake.”
So, if you’re looking to get good, intense, physical and mental exercise while having fun and bonding or making new friends, then 5-a-side football is a sure bet.
You can check out our list of 5-a-side venues and teams across Nigeria (coming soon).
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