Despite having been increasingly entrusted with a starting place in the Kwara United side, goalkeeper Jonah Usman knows not to take anything for granted in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
Usman’s hard work on the training ground has seen head coach Abubakar Bala giving the former Flying Eagles shot stopper more and more game time in between the poles for the Harmony Warriors, and he has repaid the confidence shown in him with some breathtaking saves and outstanding performances.
The ex ABS FC goal-minder knows there is no room for complacency and that his place is never guaranteed.
“I don’t see myself as the first choice goal keeper, but I rather take things game by game. I still have areas of my game that I must improve, and so it’s about working hard, giving my all at training, and always being ready life called upon,” he told Footballlive.ng.
“The coach knows that he has good keepers at his disposal, and he’s shown us that he is willing to give us all the chance. It’s all about what you do with your chance, trying to do your best at all times to hold on to that jersey. It’s not so much about pressure though, it’s about going out and enjoying yourself on the field.”
With more additional game-time, Usman is also benefitting from a good understanding with the players directly in front of him, as he explains: “We are getting there in terms of a defensive unit. We know what the coach wants from us, and we are working hard towards getting there. The guys in front of me are forming a good partnership and it gives you as a keeper a lot of security when you have players doing well in front of you, and when you are all on the same page in terms of understanding each other.”