February, 5 2022.
By Coach Kakwi.
A young 17 year old football player who worked hard from the grass root to remodel his football abilities to the highest standard - presently playing for Plateau United with 2 goals in 5 appearances *
The rookie is being labeled the African Aguero - notably this is his first season in the NPFL
Fast forward Albert emerged as perhaps the most important player Nigeria needs to watch owing to his style and high expectations.
There is no doubt that there are a number of other players who play key roles in the team which he plays -he has been used mainly as a central striker
The intelligence of the movement from Albert Hilary junior from central areas is explosive.
Albert accesses the final third of the pitch is possibly the key to the attacking efficiency that any team and coach needs Coupled with his high work rate and ability to link other players it is well on his way to becoming one of the best players in the Nigerian NPFL so far
His style of play would be seen on the side of putting pressure on opponents high up the field to force possession to turn over and enable his teams to attack from an advanced platform.
Whilst there were some elements of this style early on in his early start in the ranks of his grassroot teams_ it is certainly wasn’t the high tempo pressing system that we had seen from his pattern to make this style of play effective.
In all honesty it seems as though Albert Hilary was made to play the type of high energy counter pressing football that any attacking football coach loves and the young Plateau united forward has adapted quickly to the new challenge on his platform.
Time and time again Albert is the player that leads the high press when the opposition have possession in deep areas.
This is often a thankless task as analysis of pressing movements has shown that the first player in to an advanced press is relatively unlikely to actually win the ball back. The turnover in possession comes when the pass from the player under pressure is loose or in to a bad area.
When Albert leads the press in this manner his intelligence shows clearly in his body shape. He will press the man in possession but position himself to effectively cover another player in his cover shadow.
TECHNIQUE AND VISION
One of the key strengths of Albert’s game is his ability to connect with his team mates and engage in combination play in and around the final third of the pitch. He has the vision and awareness of space to see enable him to move in and around the oppositions defensive structure to cause maximum damage.
His role is not quite that of a false nine as we have seen defined by the performance of world class strikers
Time and time again we see Albert Hilary's movement off the front line(watch his matches) either centrally where he will look to receive a vertical pass and build from an advanced platform or out to the wide areas where he will connect with either the fullback or wide attacker in order to create an overload and play through the opposition.
Significantly ,his movement wide leaves the opposition centre backs with nobody to directly mark and creates space for central players to run in to from deep areas. He also has the technical ability to play quick combinations with his team mate so that when the ball is played in to his feet he is able to quickly turn it around the corner and play a one two.
One of the benefits any team has is the technical ability and vision that comes with the flexibility that it gives the side in the attacking transition.
When you have a forward who is equally comfortable receiving the ball with his back to goal or driving in to space and playing the ball in to space for team mates to attack then it makes it very difficult for the defence to plan for and defend your attacks.
MOVEMENT AND POSITIONING
Albert is perfectly comfortable in receiving the ball in a number of different situations whether in the wide or half spaces, right up against the defensive line or down in the spaces between the midfield and defensive line of the opposition.
This flexibility makes it extremely difficult for opposition coaches to put an effective defensive gameplan in place.
A player with the vision of Albert has the capacity to cause untold damage to any defensive structure in this position.
The frightening Nigerian scouts and agents find it difficult to analyze stats technical reports - soon a top European club would sieve him out.