The U-13 and U-15 teams of Abia Warriors Football Club of Umuahia currently being packaged in its academy, have been formally unveiled.
The ceremony, which took place at the Umuahia Township Stadium, was attended by who is who in sports in Abia State including the State Head of Service, Dr Vivien Umah and the newly appointed Commissioner for Sports, Dr Martins Okoji who performed the unveiling exercise amidst pomp and pageantry.
In his speech, Dr Okoji commended Abia Warriors football club for establishing the academy which he noted, was in line with Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s policy of developing the youths in order to make them better citizens in future.
The Commissioner noted that some renowned footballers in the word like Pele, Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo all started from the academy and expressed confidence that the twinkling, twinkling little stars currently in Abia Warriors football academy, will soon blossom to become diamonds in the sky.
He commended Governor Ikpeazu for finding him worthy to serve as a member of the state executive council and assured him that the sports ministry will always stand behind him.
Earlier, the Chairman, Abia Warriors football club, Chief Emeka Inyama said the club embarked on the academy as a way to give back to society and to discover hidden talents and nurture them to stardom.
He revealed that the academy boys were selected after a thorough screening exercise, pointing out that they were picked with their accurate ages for proper development.
” This is the making of Maradonas, Ronaldos and Messis. We want to get it right by setting the right foundations and structures that will out live us so that even when we’re no longer there tomorrow, there’ll be structures for whoever is there to work with”, Chief Inyama said.
He revealed that apart from the current U-13 and U-15 teams, plans were underway to float the U-7 team in order to inculcate in them, the right professional standards right from their infancy, and to ensure that in the years to come, Abia Warriors will no longer look for players from other clubs or other parts of the country as the academy players will simply graduate to the main team.
Highlight of the occasion was a friendly match between Abia Warriors U-13 team and their Golden Boot fc counterparts from Lokpaukwu, in Umunneochi Local Government Area which the Kelvin Ejeh tutored young Warriors won 3-1 thanks to a scintillating brace from Wisdom Joseph and a stunning free kick from star midfielder, Henry Udezuka while Nwankwo Sunday netted the consolation for the visitors.