By Augustine Akhilomen,
December 19, 2017.
A week of exciting youth football in the ancient city of Kano will witness the grand finale in Lagos on Tuesday with the U15 final of the NFF/Zenith Bank Future Eagles Championship at the Agege Stadium.
Tuesday will be exactly a week on one year that the finals of the inaugural edition of the competition (U13 and U15) took place at the Onikan Stadium, with South West emerging champions in the U15 category with a 2-0 defeat of South East, while South East defeated South South 4-2 in the final of the U13 category.
This year, an enterprising North Central squad overcame equally ambitious South West team 4-2
on penalties in Kano to emerge champions of the U13 category.
North West and South East take to the Agege Stadium turf on Tuesday afternoon for the
intermediate honours, with last year’s runners-up South East determined to take the step up to the champions’ podium this time.
Following last year’s inaugural competition that took place in Ijebu-Ode and Lagos, NFF Technical Director, Mr. Bitrus Bewarang said” I am delighted with the entire good job done by the NFF Youth Football Committee, headed by the NFF 1st Vice President, Barr. Seyi Akinwunmi. I saw excellent football by young, talented and ambitious kids. On the evidence of what I saw in Ijebu-Ode and Lagos, I believe that in the nearest future, we would be making use of very young players, in the mould of Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi, for the Super Eagles.”
The former Super Eagles’ Assistant Coach also hailed competition sponsors Zenith Bank International PLC, assuring the bank that its name would be etched in gold once the prodigies start making waves in the NPFL, Super Eagles and top Leagues overseas.
“The bank has put its money in the right place, and I am using this opportunity to call on other
big players in Corporate Nigeria to embrace sports, because by embracing sports, they are assuring the future of the youth.
“Certainly, the NFF/Zenith Bank Future Eagles Championship is a welcome development. I want to implore the bank not to rest on its oars, but rather guarantee that the competition has come to stay as an annual carnival for the young and determined boys from the grassroots.”
Zenith Bank’s chieftains are enamored at the essence and glamour of the competition, and will again storm the Agege Stadium in full force on Tuesday.
NFF President Amaju Pinnick, 1st Vice President Seyi Akinwunmi (who is the Chairman of the NFF Youth Football Committee), Executive Committee members, NFF General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi, some top officials of the Lagos State Government, as well as members of the NFF Youth Football Committee will be in attendance.