With the exit of four teams from the tournament – Braveheart FC, Royaltoms FC, Fortress Ladies and a no-show Osun Babes side, the tournament is beginning to take shape as we step into the quarter-finals stage.
Organisers, stakeholders, coaches, players and media experts have shared their experiences about the group stage of the tournament and how impressed they are.
The Executive Chairman, of Edo State Sports Commission, Mr. Alli Yussuf (OLY) registered his impression of the tournament so far and hinted that there are underlying talents at the grassroots and the tournament is one such event that seeks to discover and push forth champions to emerge. He mentioned that the idea and personalities behind the tournament would enable it to be sustained.
He further gave kudos to the Media for being able to tell about the happenings to pull crowds to the match venues.
Speaking on the performance of the event in general and the teams as the group stage came to an end, the Nigerian Football Federation First Vice President, Barr. Seyi Akinwumi expressed excitement at the improvement and progress made so far in terms of the general organization and team performances.
He harped on the theme of this year’s tournament and stated that drug addiction affects youths and destroys lives. He, however, advised the youth and everyone, in general, to “say no to drugs”
Hon. Frank Illaboya, member board of directors of the Edo Sports Commission gave his take as he described the teams showing more enthusiasm towards the tournament and also stated that the awareness about the theme so far is wide spread and the organization is world-class.
He stated that the theme of the tournament cannot be overemphasized as it is the right time to create such an awareness as most youths and sports people are affected by it.
For some of the coaches, it’s been fantastic as their teams have been wonderful on the field of play. Confluence Queens Coach, Laidi Bashiru said this about his team.
” The most important thing is winning, but playing-wise we haven’t reflected much of our game, we are positive about it and hope to improve”
The clubs who exited the tournament were all left with more exposure and lessons. Fortress Ladies coach Jimmy Aimuagbonrie despite being out of the tournament spoke about the team’s improvement comparing where they are coming from and the performance they were able to put out against an NWFL side, he also appreciated the convener of the tournament for putting forth a second edition. Fortress Ladies managed to score a goal against Confluence Queens but couldn’t stand out as they were beaten 3-1.
The assistant goalkeeper coach of Braveheart FC acknowledged that asides from their losses, it was a wonderful experience which gave them the necessary exposure and will do better with another opportunity.
At the end of the group stage these are the standings of the teams:
On Monday will see the quarter-finals underway across various match centres in Edo State.