One goal, one assist: new wonderkid Collins Atule shine on Tornadoes debut
17-year old Collins Atule justified the hype around him as the next superstar out of Nigeria when he made a bold statement of intent on his debut for Niger Tornadoes in their 2-0 win over visiting Zamfara United in a Nigerian National League (NNL) match at the Sani Kotangora stadium in Minna.
The Dante FC Academy of Lagos product was a mid-season loan signing for Tornadoes and became an instant hit with the fans when, 11 minutes into the game, he ghosted into the opposition box to nod home from Debo Fashanu’s clever pass.
Atule, in a mature performance which belied his age, took over and pulled strings in the middle of the park to the delight of the fans who were soon on their feet again with the advent of the second goal.
Again, Atule orchestrated the move from the middle, rising above the opposing defender to nod down a delightful side pass for an onrushing Shamsudeen Hashim to slam across the face of goal.
However, Atule is not allowing the hype to get to his head and wants to keep developing in the game.
“Coming to Tornadoes was a step-up for me and I now realise I have a lot to still learn. I’m not in a hurry because at 17 I still have time on my side to grow,” he told www.naijasuperfans.com in an exclusive interview.
The win took Tornadoes top of the NNL Group A1 table with 24 points, two more than second-placed DMD FC and, with eight games left to go, the Minna side are in good position to reach the playoffs for a shot at the Nigeria Premier Football League.
Should they reach the NPFL, Tornadoes will offer the youngster the platform to reach a wider audience and his talent will announce the arrival of yet another football prodigy from Nigeria to the world.