Tension, Anxiety As Final List Of Selected Players At 7th Dreamland/Embassy Of Hungary Cup Emerge Today
By Amaechi Agbo
It is the most successful and glamorous scouting youth football tournament in Nigeria and with intention by the the organisers to expand it beyond the shores of the country, there are palpable anxiety and tension as the final list of successful players scouted at the 7th edition of Dreamland/Embassy of Hungary Cup will be released today, Bestchoicesports.com.ng Editor, Amaechi Agbo writes.
It has been a 6-day intensive programme of football activities at the the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja. 12 football clubs and academies participated but even while 10 have been eliminated and sent home, the officials and coaches of the teams refused to go home with their players.
And the reason for their action is obvious, they want to see the climax of the tournament. Not necessarily to partake in the closing Ceremony nor even watch the final match between Hooke Sport and Galadima, though not out of interest, but for the fact that they want to be around when the final list of selected players who will be sent to Hungary and other European clubs to further develop their careers will be released.
On Saturday, the initially selected 27 players played against themselves in a novelty match tagged “All Satrs” with Team Blue running away with victory after defeating Team Red 2-0.
Beyond the match on Saturday which served as the prelude to final selection of talented players, apprehension and anxiety was obvious in the air.
Players played with caution, tried to avoid mistakes even as their coaches stoodby watching and cheering. When the final whistle finally went, faces turned and questions without answered were asked. Who would the the successful ones be? How many players will the scouts finally select?
This writer immediately ran to the MD and Chairman, Organising Committee, Mr Ndudi Ebede for answer on the last question. And I got a shock.
“Good morning sir,” I greeted him.
“Good morning Amaechi. Kedu? (How are you)
“O di nma” (I am fine). Please sir, how many number of players will the scouts pick from today’s (Saturday’s) match?
“I do not know. I have know Idea,” he replied.
I left him immediately and approached one of the scouts in the field and he told me “We have done the final shortlisting. Tomorrow (today) you will get the names. “How many players have your selected?” I asked him refusing to let go
“Tomorrow you will get the numbers,” he replied again. At this point, I lost it and then asked some of the LOC members and they gave me their probable numbers.
As I sat down to write this story, the number keep ringing in my head and I keep wondering who would be the successful ones?
Coaches have expressed their determination and targets for participating in the tournament. And all of them had one thing in common – to get their players selected and then win the trophy.
Even a coach was more serious when he said “My brother, forget the cup. That cup is a serious distraction. As far as I am concerned, if at least one of my players is selected in the final list, I am the winner.”
As players and officials of the 12 clubs and academies continue to wait for the final list, Hooke Sport and Galadima will square up for the trophy by 3pm today.
At the initial selection, 27 players were penciled down but our investigation shows that the number of the final successful players will be much lesser.