FC Ifeanyi Ubah and Anambra State Football Association (ANSFA) under the leadership of Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, yesterday, at the Rojenny Stadium, Oba, concluded a 4-day Open Screening/Selection Exercise aimed at discovering about 30 technically gifted players under the age of 20.
The players are expected to form the fulcrum of the West Ham United Academy as part of the Partnership agreement signed between the Hammers and FC Ifeanyi Ubah.
The screening exercise which was duly supervised by the Vice Chairman of the board, Barr. J.B.C Obikwelu drew seasoned football coaches, tacticians and administrators, the 21 Local Government Football Council Chairmen drawn across the state, as well as members of ANSFA.
It is expected that about 30 of the players discovered from this exercise who are basically green horns and raw talents from schools/academies within the state will go into a 10-day close door training camp after which the group will be cut down to 20 players who will be embarking on a Trip to the London Club, West Ham United for trials and full integration into their academy after signing the dotted lines of the club’s papers.
The Screening exercise which is part of ANSFA’s quest cum efforts to discover, nurture and groom talents from all nooks and crannies of the state can be described as largely successful with the climax being the novelty football matches between the U-20 Select Team A beating FC Ifeanyi Ubah Academy 4-1, while in the second game, FC Ifeanyi Ubah Feeder Team defeated the U-20 Select Team B by 2 goals to nil.
Reacting to the recent development, CEO/Managing Director of the Rojenny Sports Complex, Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka (Ogilisi Igbo) who witnessed the event on its first day commended the efforts of the Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah’s led Anambra FA Board for the noble exercise which he described as timely.
”This event is timely, as it is a progress in our football and serves as a platform of hope for our youths to showcase their talents and a chance for international exploration. This is a goldmine in terms of future sports development in Anambra State. I commend Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah for his vision and capabilities. He is certainly a man who uses his visionary and intellectual capacity to turn things around. I urge him to continue with his good works,” Chief Ezeonwuka stated.
Also reacting, Vice Chairman of the Anambra FA Board, Barr. J.B.C Obikwelu said the open screening exercise has afforded the football passionate and loving teeming youths a very honest opportunity to be seen and spotted out as well as develop their talents.
”This Screening Exercise is one that in the nearest future will return Anambra football to its former glory. It is a well thought-out process borne out of a well crafted blueprint for football development. Football is made in Anambra and in conformity with this cliche, we have hit the ground running. You can see for yourself how the exercise has turned out with the talents showcased by these young ones. What we are doing here is simply practicing what we preach for the betterment of the state in sports,” said Barr. Obikwelu.
Reacting also, Sir Anthony Udennaka, a Member of the Anambra FA Board who doubles as Chairman of the Anambra State Referee’s Council was of the view that the exercise is not only beneficial to the state but to the nation at large.
”An opportunity of this nature and magnitude is rare, this goes to say that the youths that are involved should make the best out of it by being focused, committed and disciplined. This exercise is not only beneficial to Anambra State but to the country at large. Football is a unifying factor and plays a key role in national integration, this is just the right way to start and on a concluding note, I can say that I am satisfied with what i have seen in the couple of days this exercise lasted,” Udennaka submitted.
Present at the occasion were the Chairman Anambra State Football Association and Proprietor of FC Ifeanyi Ubah, Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah; Chairman, FC IfeanyiUbah, Chief Chukwuma Ubah; former U-17 National Team Coach, Amb. Fanny Amun (MON); FC Ifeanyi Ubah’s new Head Coach, Kenichi Yatsuhashi; Technical Director, Mitko Dobrev; Assistant Coach/Fitness Trainer, Yaw Preko among others.