By Elijah Ugani
Former Super Eagles striker and later coach, Sampson Siasia has commended the organisers of the Comrade Odey Adamade Football tournament with the promise to identify participants to elevate their game.
Mr. Siasia stated this Weekend in Obudu while watching the finals of the tourney between Academy FC and Begiaka FC which though ended 1-1 in regulation time, saw Begiaka clinch the trophy during a penalty shootout, 3-1 to emerge champions two years in a row.
And, the former Nantes FC forward said: “We have to come here today because this is the finals, in events like this, we identify young talents and assist them get to the next level. That goalkeeper is extremely good.
“I want to thank Comrade Adamade who made it possible for us to be here. Worthy of note is the fact that all of you have come out massively to be part of this event. We hope to come back here.
“Football is way of bringing people together and I can see smiles on your faces, to the Chiefs who have waited patiently from the beginning of the match to now, I must commend them, thank you very much for coming.
“The reception we have right from when we came till now, is being something else, thank you all for your hospitality.”
This is the seventh edition of the tournament and Mr. Adamade while addressing those in attendance said he envisions that the tourney provides a platform for future stars to grow.
“My joy is to see any of these youth wear Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, Barcelona, Real Madrid or any club jersey as a player in that team, at least the player must remember that this tournament gave him the platform and spring board to get to the zenith of his career,” he said and commended Siasia for obliging his request.
“It might interest you to note that some people spent a lot to get Coach Siasia do the assignment he has come here to do. But it might interest you to know that I didn’t spend anything for him to come here. I only went to him and requested him to come, and he obliged. I am indeed honored to have him here and I want to say that as has said some persons have been identified, I will discuss the logistics that is required to get them to the national team and ensure that I provide same,” Odey said.
Mr. Siasia had, while coaching the U-23 national team between 2008 and 2009, opened a football academy in Abuja called Siaone. And, a member of his technical crew, Mr. Elvis Abu while commending Mr. Odey pledged to assist in the organisation of the eight edition with attention paid to technical areas that needed improvement.
An invited monarch and Chairman of the Obudu urban traditional rulers council, Utsu Ezekiel prayed for the enabling opportunities to get some of the youths who have been identified in the tournament to feature in the national team, so that the youths will be more committed in the game of football as a panacea to the increasing crime rate.
Also, the head of the organising committee, Mr. David Undeshi pointed out that courage and the zeal to set records has sustained the momentum over the last seven years and maintained that at seven, the organizing committee is about to set the pace for others to follow.
Special recognition was given to best coach, highest goal scorer, best team, best goalkeeper among others.
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