As part of its drive to reduce the gap between professionals footballers and non leaguers in Kwara State and its environs, FIFA licensed sports management organization, Phreestyle Sport is creating a meeting point to cross ideas and learning with a mini league tagged ‘AMAPRO Football League”
The special football league which will include four teams with Kwara based Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL players, their counterparts in the Nigeria National League, NNL, players from the Nationwide League One, NLO and Non-Leaguers will kick off today at the Kwara Football Academy, KFA pitch, Ilorin.
Chief Executive Officer of Phreestyle Sport, Shogo Shodunnke explained that the tournament is aimed at motivating young footballers within and around the state just as it will create a relationship between the professional and amateur players.
Shodunnke noted that “We are looking for ways of repackaging our players for national and global interest, out of thousands of footballers we have in Kwara and it’s environs, it’s only few that are playing at the top, I mean as professionals, that’s why we want to use our players at the top (NPFL and NNL players) to motivate the ones coming up, we want our professionals to develop and mentor other footballers.
“The number of our professional footballers is not up to 100 and we have thousands of players training everyday at the stadia around the state, with this program, we do hope the gap will be reduced and the professionals use it to get tuned up for the upcoming season,” he said.
Top coaches have been selected to tutor the players during the four day tourney.
Amongst them is former Kwara United Technical Adviser, Tunde Sanni, Coach Ganiyu Mustapha Brimo, former Plateau United and Julius Berger defender, Coach Taofiq Babatunde and Head Coach of newly promoted NLO side Lubcon FC, Ashfat Suleiman, popularly known as ‘Brazil’
“We picked them based our records and survey of coaches around here and we want them to impact their knowledge on these players, Coach Tunde Sanni will use his position and personality to motivate the amateur players and we are optimistic they will be inspired, same as Coach Brimo for the NLO players and we also believe that coaching players of NPFL and NNL will raise the level of both Babatunde and Ashfat, we will also use it to check how they will manage the egos of the so called professionals,” the FIFA Licensed sport manager said.
The mini league started by 2pm yesterday with NLO players taking their colleagues in the NNL while the NPFL players took on their Amateur counterparts with good football display at 4pm.
The likes of Abdulrahman Bashir, Tayo Fabiyi, Aminu Abdulkadir, Seun Sogbeso, all from Nasarawa United, Kazeem Yekeen, Isiaka Olawale from Elkanemi Warriors, Wasiu Jimoh, Ismaila Gata from FC IfeanyiUbah will play for the NPFL Stars, while the like Ogundare Detan, Chindo Babangida of Kogi United, Issa Gata, Hammed Jimoh, Hakeem Onigbari, Sheriff Jimoh from Kwara United, Shakiru Lawal from First Bank FC, Abdullahi Ibrahim, Adedoyin Olowosaiye, Bolaji Abdulkadir from ABS will represent the NNL team at the league that will come to an end on Sunday at the KFA pitch.