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Nigerian Football

GTBank-Lagos State Principals Cup Season 8 Kick-off

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The sponsors of the annual secondary schools football tournament in Lagos, Guaranty Trust Bank plc has announced the commencement of the eighth season of the GTBank Principals Cup in Lagos State.

For the past seven years, GTBank has continued to promote grassroots football through the organization of the prestigious Principals Cup competition, which is one of the largest grassroots competition in Africa.

The Guaranty Trust Bank plc sponsored tournament, which is aimed at actively engaging secondary school students through sports whilst promoting the values of excellence and fair play, provides a platform for identifying, nurturing, grooming young and talented players and also helping students work towards their dream of being world class footbllers.

Season seven of the Principals Cup produced an exhilarating encounter with over 360 teams competing to be the ultimate champions of the prestigious tournament. In the boys’ category, Dairy Farm Senior Secondary School completed a hat trick of championships (after winning in 2012 & 2014) and became the first team to permanently retain the trophy while Ikotun Senior High School held unto the cup in the girls’ category.

About 370 schools comprising of girls and boys from various secondary schools in Lagos State will compete in the 2017 edition (Season 8) of the Principals Cups competition.

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While commenting on the importance of education in nation building, Mr. Segun Agbaje, Managing Director, GTBank said that “Sports and education are fundamental in fostering camaraderie and discipline amongst youths and imperative to their development.

We are therefore proud to be pioneers of this initiative that provides an avenue for students to showcase their talents and passion for the game of football whilst staying in school”.  He further stated that “At GTBank, we will continue to invest massively in youth development through education and sports in order to help more youth people actualize their dreams.

Over the years, the GTBank Principals Cup has launched the professional careers of several talented players.

In 2015, Yetunde Fajobi joined the Nigeria U17 Female Team – The Flamingos- having played in the 2014 edition, where she powered her school, Government Secondary School Agege to victory and emerged the most valuable player of the 2014 season.

The 2012 MVP Steven Odey also joined the MFM FC in the Nigerian Professional League in 2016, and now in his second season, he scored the first hat trick in the season and is currently the highest goal scorer.

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Guaranty Trust Bank, a youth oriented brand maintains the lead in providing support for education and sports to enable young boys and girls explore their talents and reach for their dreams.

It is one of the few Nigerian financial institutions that have maintained a defined Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy, most especially in sports education. The Bank actively supports in-classroom and out-of-classroom educational programmes, infrastructure development, students’ scholarship and teachers training across Africa.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Nigerian Football

Former Nigeria international, Onye recommends  Amuneke-Siasia combo for Super Eagles

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BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

Kingsley Onye, the left sided defender who was a member of the first Flying Eagles side to have a podium finish at the U-20 World Cup has suggested the employment of Emmanuel Amuneke as the coach of the Super Eagles.

He wants him to be assisted by Samson Siasia when the ban on the latter lapses in August. Alternatively, Onye pointed to Sylvanus Okpala as alternative to Siasia.

The Super Eagles are in dare need for a head coach as the clock ticks down to the Match day 4 and 5 of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers in which the team is trailing at the third position.

The two matches in early June are crucial for the Super Eagles to bounce back into reckoning as the team can not afford to drop any of the available six points in the duels with South Africa at home and away to Benin.

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From this Monday, it is 41 days to the potentially challenging tie with South Africa, but the Nigerian national  team has been without a coach since the expiration of the contract of Portugal’s Jose Peseiro shortly after the Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire.

Without mincing words, Onye remarked: Emmanuel Amuneke is the right man for the job of the coach of Super Eagles. He has been there before.

“He tasted it and had been fantastic with the Nigeria youth team, the U-17 by assisting Manu Garba to win the U17 World Cup in 2013 and as head coach, led the Golden Eaglets to win the cup again in 2015.”

Onye who played for the Enugu Rangers in Nigeria before venturing to the UK but had his career scuppered by freak injury  pointed out that the solution to Super Eagles’ technical deficiency is the appointment of an indigenous coach and that Amuneke is the man.

In buttressing his assertion, he declared: “As a senior team coach, Amuneke qualified a long standing absentee team, Tanzania  for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

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“His record as a player is also very impressive. He played and won with the Super Eagles, the AFCON 1994. He played at the Olympic Games and was also the first Nigerian to score two goals at the World Cup.

“He has played at the African Games and also for top clubs in the continent as he was a member of the Egyptian giants, Zamalek. In Europe, he played for Sporting Clube de Portugal and then Barcelona before injury ended his playing career.”

Onye also looked at the personality of Amuneke in recommending him for the Super Eagles job.

His record as a player is also very impressive. He played and won with the Super Eagles, the AFCON 1994. He played at the Olympic Games and was also the first Nigerian to score two goals at the World Cup.

He has played at the African Games and also for top clubs in the continent as he was a member of the Egyptian giants, Zamalek. In Europe, he played for Sporting Clube de Portugal and then Barcelona before injury ended his playing career.

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GTI enlarges coast…spreads from League fund-raising to Federation Cup

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BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

Strategic partners of the Nigeria Football Federation, GTI Asset Management and Trust Ltd has expanded their scope of operations from fund sourcing for the Nigeria Premier League to adding the responsibility of getting the national cup competition back into its glamorous days.

The MD of the company, Abubakar Lawal at the unveiling a revamped Federation Cup which has been renamed President Federation Cup remarked that his company decided to take a bold step to support the national cup.

“I am the happiest man today, he said in the opening remark of the rebranding of the national cup through signing of Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Sports and the NFF.

“Our company is also strategically involved in ensuring that the President Federation Cup is given necessary attention to thrive using The Nigeria Football Fund (TNFF) as our vehicle to actualise this dream.

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“Therefore, it is our vision that the oldest domestic football event becomes one of the best organised football events in the world in no distant future.”

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Ikenne’s Beyond Limit Football Academy top goal chart as NNL releases vital statistics

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The secretariat of the Nigeria National League has released the match statistics of the four conferences of the 2024 season.

With 198 matches so far played in Conferences A and B, 426 goals were scored, with 125 home wins and 26  away wins, representing 63.1%, & 26% respectively. There were 47 draw matches, representing 23.7% of matches. 299 home goals were scored, and 127 home goals.

Beyond Limit FC scored the highest goals  of 33 goals, with Stormers FC and Ekiti United conceeding the least goals  of 28 goals. Tradesafe and Solution FC scored the least numbers of goals of 11 goals and Osun conceded the least numbers of goals of 8.

In group C & D, 209 goals have been scored in the 106 so far played, with 70 home wins and 14 won away  representing 66. 3% and 13.1% respectively.

 Teams drew 31 matches representing 29.2% of the matches played. Wikki Tourists scored the highest numbers of goals, with 23 goals, while EFCC FC conceded the least numbers of goals. They conceded 18 goals. Nasarawa United’s 8 goals conceded  made them the team that conceded the lowest numbers of goals, while ABS scored the least number of goals of 5 goals.

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