Thousands of youths seeking soccer stardom trooped out at the Austin Jay Jay Okocha Stadium in Ogwashi-Uku in Delta State at the weekend in the on-going Zonal trial of the Oceanic Football talent Hunt Competition which held at the ex-Super Eagles starâ€™s home town.
The youths whose ages range from 16 and above came from far and near to take part in the zonal trial and display their soccer artistry to the delight of coaches and other technical officials who were doing the selection to determine which among them would move to the next stage.
The trial conducted by Okocha himself along with other coaches such as Friday Elahor and Waidi Aksani, Lagos FA Chairman, saw the youths who came from far away places like Enugu, Port-Harcourt, Lagos, Maiduguri, Bauchi and Ilorin displaying their talents and skills in football to prove themselves as worthy of being selected.
The stadium was jampacked as football lovers, other indigenes from Ogwashi-Uku and neigbouring communities stormed the stadium to watch the trials and catch a glimpse of the former Bolton captain, Okocha, who had a hectic time autographing for the youths.
The youths mostly secondary school students were excited to see Okocha emerge from his car decked in sports wear as he made to the stadium acknowledging cheers from the soccer enthusiasts who clapped all through as Okocha blew the whistle for the first set of players to take their turn in the trial.
It was indeed a display of skills and raw talents as the youths played each other with so much energy and zeal to the admiration of the coaches.
Speaking at the end of the two day trial, Okocha said the he had seen that the problem with Nigeria was not shortage of football materials but how to harness them, noting that the â€œboys have shown that they have the skills and are ready to take the opportunities if encouraged and motivated.