Prosperity Cup 2022: Gov. Diri Lauds Oustanding Football Talents Of Bayelsa Youths Youths
……as Three-day International Scouting Event Ends in Yenagoa
Bayelsa Governor, Senator Douye Diri says he is elated with the outstanding talents displayed by the youths of Bayelsa in football. He equally commended the presence of notable international football scouts that are in the state for a three-day scouting program, to source for raw talents competing at the ongoing Prosperity Cup.
This is as he called on the foreign and local scouts to mop up as many players as possible, as the talents that abound in the state are enormous.
Speaking while receiving the scouts shortly after the state’s weekly jogging exercise at the Samson Siasia Sports Complex in Yenagoa on Thursday, the Governor urged them not to leave the state until talents have been scouted to be taken abroad while calling for a partnership with the scouts so that the event will be yearly.
He commended the organisers of the Bayelsa Governor’s Football Tournament for initiating such a laudable programme on grassroots sports development. The ongoing Bayelsa Governor’s Football Tournament, also known as the ‘Prosperity Cup’ which attracted scouts from home and abroad, has proven to be a huge success, following reactions at the end of the three-day scouting event in Yenagoa, the state capital.
In a statement by the Media Officer of the tournament, Patrick Ndubuisi stated that no fewer than a hundred and twenty players were selected from the ongoing competition which is still in its preliminary stage, and were made available for the scouts.
At the end of the three-day scouting program which ended on Thursday, Chief Executive Officer, Aspire Sports, France, Mr Gregory Paul, who also managed former Flying Eagles skippers, Lukman Haruna and Ramon Azeez, expressed optimism that some of the players noticed will be monitored, and hopefully, secure deals for them in the nearest future.
In his words, “I have a connection with Nigeria. I secured deals for Lukman Haruna, Ramon Azeez, and Funsho Bamigboye. I also sealed the deal with the NFF which brought Lars Lagerback as Coach of the Super Eagles ahead of the 2010 World Cup.”
“So far am impressed with what I have seen, and I can say that we noticed some good players, and we will monitor them and see what can come out of it soonest.”
Leader of the scouts and a notable Nigerian football Intermediary, who is also the Chief Executive Officer, Supreme Sports International, Mr Vincent Onyema, commended the organisers for letting them have a feel of the competition.
“Am glad we came here. I know Bayelsa has a lot of talents. I even have some players here. So hopefully, we will make this trip here often so that we can get more good players out of Bayelsa.”
Mr Passi Gerald of Olympique Marseille FC of France, on his part, commended the grassroots football tournament ongoing in the state, and the huge number of talents it has produced,
Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa international scout, Mr Thembela Lesly, described Nigeria as a notable football nation, and has lots of similarities with their South African counterpart in terms of football, and hoped that more players will be joining the Premier League Soccer.
Head Coach, Newcastle Jets Coach of Australia, Mr Hussein Skenderovic, also praised the quality of football he witnessed during the campaign, adding that Australia and other parts of Asia are in dire need of talents in Africa and Nigeria in particular.
“Beyond the talents, we have seen here, I enjoyed the quality of play. I will like to see players here come to Australia and other parts of Asia. We need players over there, and I can bet we will come again and continue to work things out.”
Director-General of the Prosperity Cup, Mr Ono Akpe, said the scouting event is only the first phase, as the second phase will be done at the end of the competition.
“Am happy with what we have done so far, but my happiness will be complete when players from this scouting event secure professional deals abroad. But we want other teams that are yet to play to know that this is only the first phase. The scouting event will continue as the competition goes on, and at the end of the tournament, all the players selected will be camped for another scouting event.”
The DG, Mr Akpe who also presented the scouts to the Governor, Senator Douye Diri, shortly after his weekly jogging exercise, eulogised him and the Sports Commissioner, Hon. Daniel Igali for their support which has brought a positive change in the sub-sector.
While presenting branded Jerseys and the traditional Ijaw hats to the scouts, Mr Akpe said that they have concluded arrangements to partner with international organisations like Aspire Sports to take the development of grassroots sports in Bayelsa to the next level.