1st December, 2011
T he first quarter of this year witnessed intensive preparations among grassroots clubs for Lagos FA Cup, and other high profile football competitions.
At the beginning of the year, manyÂ club owners and coaches were in searchÂ ofÂ players to fortify their teams ahead of the Lagos State Challenge Cup which kicked off 22 March andÂ most of the clubs resumed early for training .
Some of the coaches explained to GSGÂ that they started training on timeÂ in order to go far in the competition andÂ other high profile competitions.
While some clubs wereÂ able to recruit good players andÂ engaged in series of friendly matches as part of their preparations for the competition, some were not that lucky.
Some club owners lamented that they cannot not afford the registration fees of the Lagos FA.
Ikeja United Coach,Chinedu Ogbonna toldÂ GSG thatÂ there were many grassroots clubs who could not participate in the Lagos FA Cup because the registration fee was too high.
â€œWe were told that the registration fee is N47, 000. for Lagos FA Cup.How many grassroots club owners can afford this fee? The Lagos FA wants to make life difficult for the grassroots teams because they only want the professional clubs to play the Challenge Cup.
â€œI prefer to play in other states instead of wasting my money on Lagos FA Cup,â€ he said.
Banjo Academy Coach, Banjo Kamilu, also complained that the registration fee was too high and only aÂ few clubsÂ registered for the championship.
Banjo, who is in searchÂ of new players to fortify his team,hinted thatÂ he had started preparing his team ahead of Boska Cup and other subsequent football competitions for the quarter.
â€œI am not interested in Lagos FA Cup because the fee is too high. I want to concentrate on Boska Cup and other competitions that will bring my team to the limelight,â€ he said.
Early in the year, as some clubs were preparing for high profile football competitions, some were planning to organise football competitions to keep clubs busy and engage the youth productively.
Shina Olumuyiwa, organiser ofÂ MAF Unity Cup told GSG that 24 teams had registered for the tourney held in Oshodi Sport complex. HeÂ explained that the tourney was organised to empower the youth through sports.
Another championshipÂ worthy of note in the first quarter was Abu Oloto Cup football tournament organised by the Lagos State Grassroots Football Association. The championship had 16 teams competing for theÂ coveted trophy.
It is worthy to mention the high tension soaked matchÂ between Ladoje FC andÂ Dynamic FC in the final ofÂ Â Ladoje FC, another grassroots tournament organised in the first quarter of the year. Ladoje FC eventually defeated Dynamic FC 5-4 on penalty shootout to win the trophy.Â Despite the defeat, Dynamic Coach, Femi Folarin said he was satisfied with his teamâ€™s performance.