…as Uvoro I meets Umuhu in final
The Sole Administrator, SOLAD, of Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area, Barr. Mrs Ogechi Ihirime has expressed optimisim that the 2023 Imo State LGA Football League, will produce great talents to the state, Wakawaka Sports Extra reports.
The SOLAD noted that the aim of the tournament is to take youths of the local government out of crimes and drug abuse and churn out talents that will represent the state at various cadre of football.
According to her, the tournament was played at the ward level on a knockout basis before the LGA level aimed at uniting the youths together as a formidable team.
She also revealed that plans are underway to invite the governor to commission the Sports complex at Aboh Mbaise stadium adding that in the nearest future, other sports will be introduced to accommodate the interest of all the youths.
Her words: “It is indeed a privilege and honour to be driving this wonderful tournament because what we have witnessed in the last two weeks across the states is noble, it hasn’t been this beautiful in terms of giving support and attention to the youths which our dear governor, Hope Uzodinma has risen up to the challenge.
“He said to us we need to take the young ones out of the streets, he needs to take them away from vices like drug abuse and also to talent hunt for people who can be retained into the football clubs of the state, for instance Heartland FC. So, he gave a charge to the 27 SOLAD and asked us to go and engage the youths.
“Coming back here to our LGA where I superintend, I looked at it and say it will not just be fun to play at the level of INEC wards and finish. People might think its football played by party. I wanted a situation whereby we can get to the grassroots. So myself and my team decided to start the tournament from communities.
“In Aboh Mbaise we have 33 autonomous communities. We play these matches in the 33 autonomous communities. The arrangement involved that every ward has three autonomous communities who play among themselves, got the winner and then pick their best 15 to represent them at the level of ward.
“So, what that is trying to do for us is to sensitize them at the level of autonomous communities on what’s going on and also help them create a team because what it is that every autonomous community in Aboh Mbaise has a team because they played among themselves, even though it was knockout basis.
“Another thing is to get them to pick their best. If you look at the players, you will find out that most of them are grassroots, greenhorns that we are trying to mould. It will be my pleasure that someday these ones we are seeing today, perhaps tomorrow be the Chidi Nwanu’s, the Patrick Ekeji’s of our time.
“Going further on what I did differently from other LGAs is to involve the people of my constituency which is in this case the females. We had the females in all the 12 wards raised female teams that participated. Because we are not playing with this tournament, the Commissioner for Sports is supporting us.
“He sent a team led by Coach Obinna. They witness what is going on and help us to head-hunt talents from this tournament. The girls have been penciled down and in no time they will be going for trials with Heartland Queens.
“We are making use of our stadium. You all know the state of our stadium before we came on board. The stadium was bush. Today we have a beautiful pavilion and we are expecting our governor to come and commission it for us. The youths of Aboh Mbaise both male and female are busy now. We are hoping to have some other sports to join to football where everybody’s interest will be represented.”
Meanwhile, in the final game of the competition, which will be decided at the Aboh Mbaise Stadium, Uvuro 1 team will take on Umuhu for the male final while Umuhu women team battles Nguru Nwekwo in the women final.