(CNN)Rarely is there respite when trying to transform a country's sporting fortunes. For all the talent, there are the obstacles; for all the expectations, there is the actuality. Global acclaim can seem within touching distance, yet the fingertips are still reaching out over a chasm. Hopes are raised, then shattered. Questions are always asked.
Women's World Cup: 'Football is life' -- Nigeria's plan to become a force in women's football
Thomas Dennerby spends hours on the road navigating one of the world's most sizeable countries. It comes with the territory of being head coach of Nigeria's women's football team.
The Swede has become accustomed to getting recognized wherever he goes which, as a white man living in Nigeria, is no surprise, he says. When he makes his way through an airport, he is usually accosted by a security guard or a flight attendant, eagerly asking him about the predominant topic every Nigerian wants to talk to him about: football.
Be it from the young or old, male or female, never before has he experienced such joy, such interest in the beautiful game. It has taken him by surprise, it has tugged at the heartstrings.