Posted by: westafricanfootball | 26/05/2012

OBSERVATIONS FROM THE NIGERIA PREMIER LEAGUE 2012

* Musa Najare (born 16.01.1992) made several impressive performances for Akwa United FC earlier this season. The talented youngster, mostly used as a left-winger or a striker, has recently joined Warri Wolves FC. Najare, formerly of Rangers International FC, scored his first goal for Wolves on 20.05.2012.

* On 20.05.2012, a player called “Ada Adama” scored for Akwa United FC against Sharks FC. I believe this is Adama Ada Odey (born 23.01.1986), formerly of Heartland FC. Odey is a utility player, often found on the left side of the attack. He has been described as a player with an impressive work rate on the flanks.

* Powerful striker Ismaila Gata recently joined Shooting Stars FC. Gata made his top level debut in November 2010 and has already played for four top level clubs: Bukola Babes FC, Kwara United FC, Enyimba FC and Shooting Stars FC. His goalscoring record shows three goals – one for Bukola Babes FC and two for Kwara United FC, all scored during the Nigeria Premier League 2010-2011.

* In December 2011, Nigerian media reported that attacking midfielder Emmanuel Bivan had left Kaduna United FC and joined second level side FC Taraba. Bivan is now back at Kaduna United FC.

* Has Cameroonian striker Mark Kipeh Pangwoh joined Kwara United FC? Pangwoh, formerly of Sable FC, was presented in my post from 29.03.2011:

http://westafricanfootball.com/2011/03/29/mark-kipeh-pangwoh/

* Lazarus Chukwu has left Lobi Stars FC and teamed up with his former club Warri Wolves FC. Chukwu is a hard-working midfielder with a healthy goalscoring record.

* Rangers International FC is the current leaders of the Nigeria Premier League and much has been written about their strong attack, consisting of Chikeluba Francis Ofoedu, top scorer in the league with 10 goals, the hard working Efe Yarhere (born 27.04.1988) who has scored six goals and Ifeanyi Ede (born 05.12.1990), who has scored three goals since joining Rangers in April from Enyimba FC. However, I believe goalkeeper Godwin Ayalogu and central defenders James Okwuosa (born 14.09.1990) and Cyril Oriaku deserves attention as well. All three players has been consistent performers this season. In my opinion, Okwuosa is ready for bigger leagues.

* Rising Stars FC is rock bottom in the Nigeria Premier League but won’t give up without a fight. The Akure-based side recently signed experienced striker Clement Bisong, formerly of Orlando Pirates FC and Dynamos FC from South Africa. Bisong was part of the Nigeria U-23 national football team in 2007.

* Bulldozing striker Dele Olorundare of Sunshine Stars FC is one of the hottest players in the Nigeria Premier League at the time of writing. Olorundare, formerly of FC Abuja and Nasarawa United FC, has scored seven goals so far this season.

* Here is an unofficial list of scorers so far in the Nigeria Premier League 2012. Please note that there are some confusion regarding several goals scored and other sources will probably report different figures.

10 goals

Chikeluba Francis Ofoedu – Rangers International FC

9 goals 

Mustapha Babadidi – Gombe United FC

Mohammed Gambo – Kano Pillars FC

8 goals

Rabiu Ali – Kano Pillars FC

Sibi Gwar – Niger Tornadoes FC

Bala Mohammed – Jigawa Golden Stars FC

Sani Sanusi – Gombe United FC

7 goals

Andrew Abalogu – ABS FC

Abdulrahman Bashir – ABS FC

Bright Ejike – Sharks FC

Dele Olorundare – Sunshine Stars FC

6 goals

Segun Alebiosu – Kwara United FC

Jafar Buhari – Kaduna United FC

Azuka Ebinum – Warri Wolves FC (5 goals scored for Niger Tornadoes FC)

Josiah Maduabuchi – Enyimba FC

Godfrey Oboabona – Sunshine Stars FC

Efe Yarhere – Rangers International FC

The picture is of Cyril Oriaku of Rangers International FC and Lazarus Chukwu of Warri Wolves FC and was found on MTN Football.

Posted by: westafricanfootball | 22/05/2012

SEGUN ALEBIOSU

Youngster Segun Alebiosu of Kwara United FC has been one of the revelations of the Nigeria Premier League 2012. At the time of writing, Alebiosu has scored six league goals, which is quite impressive for a rookie at top level at Nigerian football. Alebiosu is top scorer at Kwara United FC with two goals more than experienced striker Kabiru Sanusi.

In February 2012, Segun Atere, team captain of Kwara United FC, tipped Alebiosu as a player who could excel in the Nigeria Premier League. Alebiosu was described as a “hardworking youngster who was discovered last season in Ilorin”. Atere added that Alebiosu “has all it takes to be a great player”.

In March 2012, respectable webpage Completesportsnigeria described Alebiosu as a player who had “impressed massively” during the season.

In April 2012, MTN Football named Alebiosu as one of 10 players from the Nigeria Premier League that was “good enough to take their trade to Europe”. Alebiosu was described as a strong player who plays a direct game. Later the same month, Kwara United manager Tunde Sanni described Alebiosu as “the revelation of the season”.

Alebiosu has been training with the Nigeria U-17 national football team during the season. In May 2012, Alebiosu was excluded from the team as the Nigeria Football Federation decided that all players from the Nigeria Premier League were ruled out. Apparently, this decision was taken as a method to prevent age cheating. It should be pointed out that there are no evidence indicating that Alebiosu is more than 17 years old.

From my point of view, Alebiosu is obviously a player to watch. It is still too early to predict a bright future in Nigerian football for Alebiosu, but his career has gotten a flying start.

Posted by: westafricanfootball | 20/05/2012

MORYKÉ FOFANA

The Abidjan-based side Ecole de Football Yéo Martial, mostly referred to as EFYM,  has been one of the surprise packages in the Ivorian Ligue 1 2012. The newly promoted side is currently number 2 in the “Poule A” of the Ivorian championship, which few would have guessed before the season. The big star of EFYM is argubaly striker Moryké Fofana. Fofana is a rather unknown player who has caught headlines lately after some brilliant performances. Ivorian media has described Fofana as the most prominent player so far this season and according to unconfirmed sources, both ASEC Mimosas and Africa Sports are hoping to get his signature.

It is not easy to find information about Fofana. My first record of the player is from the Ivorian Ligue 1 2009. Fofana, who was described as a young, talented player at the time, was part of the EFYM-team that was relegated. As far as I know, Fofana did not score any goals. Interestingly, Fofana was playing alongside Tiémoko Konaté, currently the most exciting prospect at Africa Sports.

As far as I know, Fofana played for EFYM at second level of Ivorian football in 2010 and 2011. I believe he was the top scorer at EFYM in 2011.

His return to the top flight has been sensational and according to Fédération Ivoirienne de Football, Fofana has scored seven league goals so far this season, making him one of the top scorers in the country.

Fofana is born 23.11.1991 and is therefore 20 years old at the time of writing. He has been described as a skilful player with a great physical presence, making him difficult to beat in duels. In fact, Fofana’s style of play has been compared to Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto’o.

Fofana’s name is sometimes written “Moriké Fofana”.

I look forward to follow Fofana’s development in coming years. I expect him to leave EFYM during the season or after the season and hopefully his talent will be nurtured further at his next club, most likely one of the powerhouses of Ivorian football.

The picture is of players from EFYM and was found on news24.ci.

Posted by: westafricanfootball | 19/05/2012

THE CAMEROON U-20 NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM

From 24.05.2012 to 03.06.2012, the Cameroon U-20 national football team will participate in the Cape Town U-20 International friendly tournament. Last week, the Fédération Camerounaise de Football published a list of 28 players who are considered for the tournament. 18 of the players are playing in the MTN Elite One 2012. In this post, I will give a short presentation of these players.

SERGES ALAIN ANE

Club: Union Douala

DOB: 10.09.1994

Position: Midfielder

* Ane was signed from the Friendship Academy in Douala before the MTN Elite One 2012. He is already an established member of the first team at Union Douala. The lanky midfielder was part of the Cameroon U-17 national football team in 2011.

YAZID ATOUBA EMANE

Club: Canon Yaoundé

DOB: 02.01.1993

Position: Attacking midfielder / Left-winger

* Atouba Emane is arguably the star of the squad. The youngster is key player at Canon Yaoundé and can be described as a hard-working and creative midfielder. He has scored twice so far this season. Atouba Emane has experience from the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

The following clip shows some of his qualities: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlM6N9-QDTI

JEAN LANDRY BASSILEKIN

Club: Renaissance FC

DOB: Unknown

Position: Striker

* Bassilekin has been one of the revelations of the MTN Elite One 2012, having scored six league goals so far this season. However, I must admit that I was surprised to see his name in the squad as the following clip from Youtube suggests that Bassilekin is 26 years old: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6aXEjXi5T4

Obviously, the clip could be wrong and personally, I think it is strange that I cannot find any information about a player who is reportedly 26 years old. It is just as likely that he is a talented youngster and in any case, Bassilekin is obviously a quality striker.

CHARLES ETOUNDI ELOUNDOU

Club: Unisport FC

DOB: Unknown

Position: Attacking midfielder / Striker

* Unisport FC signed the petit Eloundou from AS Fortune, based in the Cameroonian capital Yaoundé, before the MTN Elite One 2012. During 2010 and 2011, Eloundou was part of the Cameroon U-17 national football team. He has scored one league goal so far this season.

The picture is of Eloundou and is taken from http://www.sourcesducameroun.com.

HASCHOU KERRIDO

Club: Unisport FC

DOB: Unknown

Position: Goalkeeper

* When Collins Maifanya joined Panthere Sportive after the MTN Elite One 2010-2011, Kerrido became first choice goalkeeper at Unisport FC. Kerrido has never looked back and some experts have likened him to legendary goalkeeper Joseph-Antoine Bell.

THOMAS JUNIOR LIBIIH

Club: Renaissance FC

DOB: Unknown

Position: Defender / Midfielder

* Libiih, most likely born in 1994, joined Renaissance FC from the All Sport Academy in Yaoundé. The current season is Libiih’s second at top level of Cameroonian football. Libiih has played regularly for the Cameroon U-17 national football team in 2010 and 2011.

CARLAIN MANGA MBAH

Club: Cotonsport FC

DOB: Unknown

Position: Striker

* To be honest, Manga Mbah is a completely unknown player to me. Manga Mbah was officially registered in the Cotonsport-squad for the CAF Champions League, suggestion he is a promising player.

JUNIOR ROSTAND MBAÏ

Club: Union Douala

DOB: 01.07.1995

Position: Striker

* Mbaï is still a fringe player at Union Douala but he is highly regarded and definitely one for the future. Mbaï is a natural goalscorer known for clinical finishes. He is a product of the Eugène Ekéké Academy. Mbaï was part of the Cameroon U-17 national football team in 2011.

EMMANUEL MBONGO EWANGUE

Club: Cotonsport FC

DOB: 13.03.1993

Position: Striker / Winger

* Mbongo Ewangue, a speedy and athletic attacker, is one of the star players in the preliminary squad. He plays regularly for Cotonsport FC, the top club in Cameroon, and has already featured for the Cameroon B national football team. Mbongo Ewangue starred for the Cameroon U-20 national football team during the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

ABDOUL SAMAD MOHAMADOU

Club: Renaissance FC

DOB: Unknown

Position: Striker

* To be honest, I did not know that Mohamadou had joined Renaissance FC. Mohamadou is a product of Fundesport from Douala, also known as the Samuel Eto’o football academy, and was part of the Cameroon U-17 national football team in 2011. As far as I know, Mohamadou is highly regarded in Cameroonian football.

ROSTAND MOUKAP

Club: Unisport FC

DOB: 18.05.1993

Position: Central defender

* Moukap has been a fringe player at Unisport FC this season, mostly because of competition from great centre-backs such as Marcellin Gaha Djiadeu, Charles Lobe Lembe and Thierry Tonye Biheng.

MFOMBAM MOUNCHILI

Club: Union Douala

DOB: Unknown

Position: Goalkeeper

* Mfombam Mounchili is the new first choice goalkeeper at Union Douala, signed from APEJES FC de Mfou before the current season. Mounchili was training with the Cameroon U-23 national football team last year.

LOUIS WILLY NDONGO

Club: Sable FC

DOB: Unknown

Position: Midfielder

* Ndongo is a rather unknown midfielder at Sable FC. He has featured regularly this season.

NKOT NYAMAT

Club: Astres Douala

DOB: Unknown

Position: Left-back

* Talented left-back Nyamat has been able to force his way into the first team of Astres Douala in his first ever season at top level of Cameroonian football.

JACQUES ONANA NDZOMO

Club: Canon Yaoundé

DOB: Unknown

Position: Central defender / Right-back

* Onana Ndzomo has been a revelation for Canon Yaoundé this season and is already an established member of the first team.

JOËL OWONO MBASSEGUE

Club: Renaissance FC

DOB: Unknown

Position: Right-back

* Owono Mbassegue is a former player of AS Fortune, based in the Cameroonian capital Yaoundé. He has also been an important player at the Cameroon U-17 national football teams for the last couple of years.

FRANTZ PANGOP

Club: Sable FC

DOB: Unknown

Position: Striker

* Frantz Pangop, a rather unknown striker, has scored one league goal for Sable FC this season.

MOUSSA SOULEYMANOU

Club: Cotonsport FC

DOB: 12.10.1994

Position: Left-back / Left-winger

* Moussa Souleymanou is a very quick, tricky player who loves to challenge defenders with his speed and dribbles. Souleymanou was part of the Cameroon U-17 national football team in 2010 and is widely considered to be one of the biggest talents at Cotonsport FC. According to trustworthy sources, several top clubs are already following the left-sided player. Souleymanou is a rather small player, apparently about 165 centimeters.

Posted by: westafricanfootball | 17/05/2012

UGONNA EZENWAKA

Ocean Boys FC is currently fighting hard to avoid relegation from the Nigeria Premier League 2012. It has been a poor season for the club, based in the city of Brass in Southern Nigeria, but midfielder Ugonna Ezenwaka has been able to shine in his first ever season at top level. At the time of writing, Ezenwaka is arguably one of the most exciting prospects in the league.

Apparently, Ezenwaka started his career at amateur clubs Fame FC and Anambra United FC. Ezenwaka starred for 36 Lion FC during the season 2010-2011. 36 Lion FC, currently playing at second level of Nigerian football, is based in Lagos, the most populous city in Nigeria. In October and November 2011, Ezenwaka was part of the Nigeria U-23 national football team.

Ezenwaka joined Ocean Boys FC, the 2006 league champions, before the Nigeria Premier League 2012. Ezenwaka made an immediate impact and he is currently an important member of the team, already having two league goals to his name.

In April 2012, Ezenwaka was named in the squad of the Nigeria U-20 national football team.

Earlier this month, Ezenwaka scored a free-kick goal when Nigeria U-20 played a 1-1 draw against the Nigeria B national football team in a friendly match. On 16.05.2012, Ezenwaka scored yet again from a free-kick when Nigeria U-20 played a 1-1 draw against Lobi Stars FC in another friendly match. Ezenwaka will most likely star for Nigeria U-20 during a friendly tournament in Cape Town, South Africa, later this month.

According to www.36lionfc.com, Ezenwaka is born 18.01.1992. In other words, Ezenwaka has already turned 20 and 2012 is most likely the last year he is qualified to play for Nigeria U-20. According to the same source, Ezenwaka is 178 centimeters and 78 kilos. At the webpage, he is described as a “powerful and strong midfielder” who us “very aggressive on the field” and plays “with great effectiveness”.

Ezenwaka has also been described as a hard-working player who can play both as a defensive midfielder or an attacking midfielder. I believe Ezenwaka is more of a fighter and a “workhorse” than a “playmaker” kind of player. He is obviously an expert from set-pieces, apparently using his right-foot. At the time of writing, Ezenwaka is rather unknown outside of Nigeria but I expect that to change sooner rather than later. His versatility and his eye for a goal should make him attractive for foreign scouts.

Ezenwaka has a Facebook-profile: http://www.facebook.com/ugonna.ezenwaka.

Posted by: westafricanfootball | 14/05/2012

ASANTE KOTOKO FC 4-3 BECHEM UNITED FC

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of watching the game between champions Asante Kotoko FC and struggling Bechem United FC. It was actually one of the best games I have ever seen from the GLO Premier League. Surprisingly, Bechem United FC took the lead through a wonderful shot from Reginald Asante after poor defending by the Kotoko-defenders. Kotoko reduced the score when Augustine Okrah crossed from the left and found Ahmed Touré in front of goal. The Ivorian striker scored an easy tap-in goal. A few minutes later, the enterprising Augustine Okrah scored one of the best goals I have seen all season. Okrah won the ball about 30 meters from the goal and scored through a thunderbolt shot that went straight into the net, hitting the cross-bar first. Quite possibly the goal of the season. In the second half, Ahmed Touré scored his second of the evening when he followed a long goal kick from goalkeeper Isaac Amoako and lobbed over the out-rushing goalkeeper Maxwell Fiifi Eshun. A wonderful finish from Touré. Bechem United FC fought their way into the match, first through a strong header from Reginald Asante after a clinical cross from the impressive left-back Rashid Abdul. Asante became a hat-trick hero when he scored 3-3 through a penalty goal. Daniel Nii Adjei showed yet again what an important player he is, scoring the matchwinning goal about 15 minutes from full time.

Asante Kotoko FC played with their backup goalkeeper Isaac Amoako (born 20.08.1983). Amoako conceded three goals but should not be blamed for any of them. Amoako seemed confident and made a few great saves, showing that it is way too early to write him off. I find it rather obvious that Amoako would be first choice goalkeeper at most top level teams in Ghana.

The impressive Yaw Frimpong (born 04.12.1986) played at right-back while Gideon Baah (born 01.10.1991) played at left-back. Both players are modern-style full-backs with attacking qualities and an impressive work rate. Baah has made an impressive return to the first team after struggling with injury for about a year. The central defensive pair of Mohammed Awal (born 01.05.1988) and captain Henry Ohene Brenya (born 04.05.1985) is widely considered as the best in the league, but I was not too impressed this afternoon. Both players looked somewhat shaky and were not up to their regular standards.

Kotoko played a 4-5-1 formation with Augustine Okrah (born 18.09.1993) attacking from the left-wing and Richard Yeboah (born 26.09.1984) attacking from the left. Afranie Yeboah (born 05.05.1988) played as a holding midfielder, allowing Daniel Nii Adjei (born 29.09.1988) and Michael Anaba (born 05.12.1988) to roam free. Okrah has had a difficult season after joining Kotoko from the Red Bull Academy, playing only a handful of matches. Yesterday, Okrah showed what an amazing talent he is. Okrah is a petit, quick player, at his best in a free role behind the strikers or as a classic winger without too many defensive obligations. Okrah has a brilliant left-foot, is a great dribbler and his first half was simply top class, having one assist and scoring a wonder goal. Here is a clip showing a few glimpses of Okrah:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhxlazG5Bqk

Okrah was replaced with David Ofei (born 07.06.1989) during the second half. Ofei fought hard on the left-wing.

Richard Yeboah had a rather quiet game at the right-wing, struggling with Rashid Abdul at the left-back of Bechem United FC. Yeboah, usually a pacy, hard-working winger, was replaced with Frank Boateng (born 17.08.1984). Boateng, the experienced central midfielder, was able to take control over the midfield with his strong passing and great overview.

I am pretty sure that Afranie Yeboah is the kind of player that would do very well in my local league, the Norwegian. Yeboah is disciplined, works hard, defends well and always seems to choose security over entertainment. Yeboah is the kind of player every team needs, although he rarely catches any headlines. Daniel Nii Adjei is a brilliant midfielder who controls the ball like few other players in Ghana. Adjei sometimes reminds me of Frank Lampard of Chelsea FC. Both players also share the ability to be at the right place at the right time, scoring a considerable amount of goals. Adjei scored his fifth league goal of the season. Michael Anaba should be thrilled after a wonderful first season at Kotoko. I have seen Anaba better, but he is a very skillful and intelligent player.

Ahmed Touré (born 17.07.1987), the Ivorian star player, played as a lone strike and scored his seventh and eighth goal of the season. Touré worked hard and had tough defenders guarding him, but thanks to his pace and strength, he was able to score two great goals. Touré looked sharp all afternoon and I hope he will soon win the professional contract he desperately wants and definitely deserves. Iddrisu Nafiu (born 12.06.1986), the strong centre forward, played a few minutes as a substitute but I was not able to see who he replaced.

I feel sorry for the hard-fighting Bechem United FC. The club played with Maxwell Fiifi Eshun in goal. Eshun is usually backup goalkeeper for Ransford Kudjoe but showed that he is an agile goalkeeper despite conceding four goals.

Their left-back of Bechem United FC was Rashid Abdul while Godfred Ofosu (born 21.01.1989) played at the right side of the defense. Abdul is one of my favourite left-backs in the GLO Premier League. Abdul is a tall, strong full-back with a cultured left-foot and a dangerous long-throw. From my point of view, Abdul is actually one of the best attacking players at Bechem United FC. Ofosu had a poor game by his high standards, struggling with the lively Okrah. Captain James Yaw Papa Yeboah and Maxwell Mensah (born 04.10.1985) played in the heart of the defence, having a hard time controlling Ahmed Touré. Mensah is usually a very confident central defender who has been a key performer this season.

Theophilus Apoh (born 30.04.1985), formerly of Hearts of Oak SC, played at the central midfield together with the talented Evans Osei. Apoh is a strong, hard-tackling player while Osei is a tricky and creative player who I think can reach far. Abraham Annan (born 08.12.1988) had a very quiet game at the left side of the midfield while the usually brilliant right-winger Peter Essien was rather average. Essien has been linked to several Ghanian top clubs during the season. The picture is of Essien and is taken from Ghanasoccernet. Annan was replaced with the burly striker Eric Fordjour (07.08.1988) who made a good account of himself, impressing with his strength and power.

Essien has perhaps been the most exciting player at Bechem United FC this season, alongside top striker Richard Addai (born 27.07.1986). Essien was replaced with striker Adamu Issah.

Addai, top scorer at the club with 11 league goals, worked hard and gave room for his new striking partner, the experienced Reginald Asante. Asante, a much-travelled attacker, was a trialist at Polish club GKS Belchatow in 2007 and apparently had a stint at Vietnamese club Quan khu 4 in 2009. According to some sources, Asante was part of Liberty Professionals FC during the GLO Premier League 2010-2011, but I am not able to document any games played. Asante scored a wonderful hattrick, scoring once with a powerful shot, once with a strong header and one clinical penalty goal.

I am not sure but I think central defender Bismark Yaw Osei made a substitute appearance as well.

Posted by: westafricanfootball | 13/05/2012

OBSERVATIONS FROM THE NIGERIA PREMIER LEAGUE 2012

* ABS FC has apparently signed Jean Parfait Konan, an Ivorian central defender, from the Kwara Football Academy.

* Abdulrahman Bashir of ABS FC, a petit, hard-running striker with a massive work-rate, has scored six league goals so far this season, forming a dangerous striking pair with Andrew Abalogu. Abalogu, who was signed from Abia Warriors FC before the season, has scored five goals in his debut season at top level of Nigerian football.

The picture is of Bashir and is taken from SuperSport.

* Goalkeeper Jonah Usman of ABS FC, also signed from the Kwara Football Academy, was recently named in the squad of the Nigeria U-17 national football team. Usman is most likely 16 years old but has nevertheless made his top level debut during the Nigeria Premier League 2012.

* Akwa United FC has signed striker Meshack Chukwubuikem. Chukwubuikem played for Shooting Stars FC during the Nigeria Premier League 2009-2010. In October 2010, Chukwubuikem was a trialist at Danish outfit Esbjerg fB. He played for Egyptian side Smouha during the season 2010-2011.

* Sarafa Usman, a midfielder, has been in great form for Akwa United FC this season. Usman is a former player of Sunshine Stars FC and Kwara United FC.

* Earlier this month, I wrote about Hamza Ikenna Onwuemenyi of Akwa United FC who was recently named in the squad of the Nigeria B national football team. I wrote that Onwuemenyi is a right-back, born 04.04.1988. I have recently discovered that Onwuemenyi is a former player of Gabros International FC and on their former homepage, Onwuemenyi was described as a defensive midfielder, born 30.03.1990, with “marking and passing ability” as his major strengths.

*Ghanaian striker James Amankwei (born 09.11.1987) and Ivorian striker Boris Konan failed to break through at Heartland FC and Rangers International FC, respectively. Both strikers have recently joined Dolphins FC. Dolphins FC could need a free-scoring striker as their current top scorer is Ghanaian Owusu Addai (born 04.02.1985) with only four goals.

* Enyimba FC has signed versatile attacker Ifeanyi Okoye (born 06.01.1990) from Warri Wolves FC.

* Gombe United FC has signed goalkeeper Timothy Unachukwu who played for Niger Tornadoes FC last season. Unachukwu will fight with veteran goalkeeper Ahmed Yusuf for the number one shirt. Other new signings include defender Ola Ogundele from second level side Zamfara United FC, central defender Maurice Chigozie from Jigawa Golden Stars FC and the versatile Tunde Aremu from Wikki Tourists FC.

* Midfielder Abubakar Nazim of Gombe United FC scored his first ever league goal on 09.05.2012. Nazim played for Bukola Babes FC last season.

* Emmanuel Mathias (born 03.04.1986) is a right-back with several full international matches for Togo. Mathias joined Heartland FC earlier this season but has yet to establish himself in the first team. Mathias has played professionally for Hapoel Petach Tikva (Israel), El-Gawafel de Gafsa (Tunisia) and Espérance Sportive de Tunis (Tunisia).

* I believe Heartland FC has signed Emeka Ogbu (born 22.02.1990) from Campos FC, an amateur football club based in Owerri. Ogbu is a powerful centre forward, apparently 186 centimeters tall.

* Playmaker Rabiu Ali and centre forward Mohammed Gambo (born 10.03.1988) have both eight league goals to their name at the time of writing. The brilliant Ali is a good tip for the “NPL Player of the season-award”.

* Ocean Boys FC is experiencing a mass exodus of players. Top striker Emmanuel Enize and promising winger Chiamaka Madu have both joined Sharks FC and will be sorely missed. Central defender Dengo Ebinipere (born 10.06.1990) has apparently joined Dolphins FC.

* Struggling Rising Stars FC has signed a few experienced players lately, including Ado Mohammed, the former striker of Shooting Stars FC.

* Shooting Stars FC has signed a couple of players to improve their poor season, including Christian Kelechi from Rising Stars FC and attacker Gabriel Adikwu from Lobi Stars FC.

* Francis Nnedum (born 23.06.1988) has been a revelation at defensive midfield for Warri Wolves FC this season. Nnedum is a former player of Gabros International FC.

* Alaba Johnson (five league goals) and Abubakar Umar (four league goals) have been sensational for Wikki Tourists FC this season. I have just learned that both Johnson and Umar were signed from Jarma FC, an amateur side from Kano in Northern Nigeria.

* Sunday John Bosco Okoh (born 22.11.1985) is the new goalkeeper at Wikki Tourists FC. Okoh is a former player of Enyimba FC.

Posted by: westafricanfootball | 12/05/2012

NJALLA QUAN SPORTS ACADEMY

The Njalla Quan Sports Academy, based in the seaside city of Limbe in the South-West Region of Cameroon, is one of the promoted teams in the MTN Elite One 2012. The academy, which focuses on talent development, is currently number 13 in the league, struggling hard to win points against their more experienced opponents.

Sadjo Sodea (born 01.02.1983) is first choice goalkeeper and one of the most experienced players in the squad. Sodea played for Scorpion FC during the MTN Elite One 2010-2011. Franklin Esambe Ekolle and Martial Meyangue are backup goalkeepers. Meyangue was part of the Cameroon U-17 national football team in 2010.

Njalla Quan has retained several inexperienced players from the squad that won promotion last season, including Denis Ngweni Ngasi (defender) Derrick Pkwai (defender), Ronald Lakem Lane, Alex Tchaguen, Edmond Sigala, Paterson Ajong Fogha, Frédéric Kwedi Elombo (attacker), Georges Mooh Djike (striker) and Frankline Metuge (born 17.06.1988). Metuge, a striker or right-winger, has a reputation for scoring goals in the lower leagues of Cameroonian football. As far as I know, Metuge and Mooh Djike scored the most goals for Njalla Quan last season. I believe the talented Mooh Djike was top scorer of the two.

Two key players from last season, Sylvestre Bell (born 31.12.1991) and Stanley Ekema (born 11.08.1987), have top level experience and are important players. Bell, formerly of Astres Douala, is a key player at defensive midfield, while Ekema, formerly of Tiko United FC and the Young Sports Academy, have a more attacking role in the midfield.

Njalla Quan has also signed a couple of players with top level experience before the current season.

Ransom Etengeneg Akangmba (born 11.03.1990), primarily a right-back, was signed from Tiko United FC. Akangmba was part of the Cameroon U-20 national football team in 2010. Romuald Monthe (born 19.08.1986) is a central defender with plenty of experience from the Young Sports Academy and Unisport FC.

On paper, Joseph Marie Gaël Foé (born 10.04.1989), formerly of Canon Yaoundé and Collins Tabot Orock (born 13.05.1988), formerly of Union Douala, Tiko United FC and Cotonsport FC, are perhaps the two players with the most impressive CV in the squad. Foé, primarily a midfielder, has done well but Orock, an attacking midfielder, has yet to stand out.

Joseph Yanki (born 27.11.1993) and Fabrice Kerdy (born 11.02.1992) are perhaps the most exciting prospects at the club. The lively striker Yanki was part of the Cameroon U-20 national football team earlier this season, together with teammate Robert Ndip Tambe. Kerdy was part of the Cameroon U-17 national football team during the CAN U-17 in Algeria in 2009. Watch out for attacker Charles Zeh Nghie. The picture is of Zeh Nghie and is taken from http://nqsa-cameroon.org.

Njalla Quan has signed several players from the MTN Elite Two 2010-2011 or even lower leagues, including Marc Eric Mbia (defender) from Lion Blessé de Foutouni, Julien Aimé Bako from Tonnerre Kalara Club and Noël Bendegue (attacker) from Achille FC.

List of scorers so far this season (9 goals):

Frankline Metuge 2, Joseph Marie Gaël Foé 1, Fabrice Kerdy 1, Frédéric Kwedi Elombo 1, Ronald Lakem Lane 1, Georges Mooh Djike 1, Charles Zeh Nghie 1.

A goalscorer against Unisport FC on 18.03.2012 is currently unknown.

Posted by: westafricanfootball | 10/05/2012

BENJAMIN ELI AGBEKO

Benjamin Eli Agbeko of Mighty Jets FC is arguably one of the most exciting prospects in the GLO Premier League 2011-2012. Mighty Jets FC, based in the Ghanaian capital of Accra, is currently struggling to avoid relegation from the top flight. Despite playing for a rather poor team, Agbeko has been a shining light. A few days ago, Agbeko was linked to Ghanaian top club Asante Kotoko FC, who recently became league champions.

Agbeko is a product of the Unistar Soccer Academy, also based in Accra. As far as I know, Agbeko is still contracted to the academy, having signed a loan deal with Mighty Jets FC before the current season. According to M&M Consulting, Agbeko is born 18.05.1995 and will therefore turn 17 in a week. According to the same source, Agbeko is 178 centimeters and 75 kilos.

Agbeko is a versatile player, mostly used as a left-winger or as a striker. He has played regularly for Mighty Jets FC this season, sometimes making substitute appearances.

Agbeko played about 10 top level matches before he was named in the squad of the Ghana B national football team. At the time of writing, Agbeko is part of the Ghana U-20 national football team.

Agbeko has scored one league goal, on 21.03.2012 against Tema Youth FC.

Agbeko is described as a “playmaker”, “a dynamic, energetic” player with “strong tactical experience” and a “very good dribbler”. I have seen Agbeko a couple of times and can confirm that he is an excellent dribbler. I have also noticed that he is a lively player with great speed and a brilliant left-foot. Agbeko has stood out for Mighty Jets FC this season, alongside great players such as Musah Inusah (central defender), Jacob Kwao (midfielder), Emmanuel Laryea (full-back, midfielder), Tamimu Muntari (winger) and Abubakar Sidi Soufian (striker).

The following clip shows a few of his qualities:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INOUKjaZym0

The picture of Agbeko is taken from M&M Consulting.

Posted by: westafricanfootball | 07/05/2012

SCORPION FC

Scorpion FC, currently rock bottom in the MTN Elite One, is the “baby brother” of Garoua, the capital of the North Province in Cameroon. Cotonsport FC, the best club in Cameroon, gets most of the attention and more importantly, most of the talented players in the region. I have taken a closer look at the team who will struggle hard to avoid relegation this season.

Charlie Ekoa Kouma is the first choice goalkeeper of the team. Ekoa Kouma was backup goalkeeper at Canon Yaoundé last season.

The defence is centered around veteran Georges Eyidi Banimb (born 23.10.1979) and Paul Sarwissi. Telli Tchoanfine Padé, who was part of the Cameroon U-20 national football team in 2010, is also an interesting central defender. I believe Souleymanou Dori, formerly of Danay Yagoua, and Charles Matakon are regular full-backs.

Eyidi Banimb is one of several players signed from Ngaoundéré University FC before the new season. Ngaoundéré University FC was relegated last season and the leaders of Scorpion FC have done well to sign some of the best players from the club, including Kalba Bebdang, Moussa Saïdou and attacking midfielder Oumarou Sanda (born 06.11.1982), formerly of Cotonsport FC. Especially Saïdou has done well and is now an established player. Pierre Fanguargue (born 31.12.1980) and Eric Toukour are both important midfielders.

Scorpion FC is sorely missing their top scorers from last season. Ismaël Mamane from Niger travelled to Hassania d’Agadir (Morocco) and Patrick Naï joined YOSA. Abdouraman Siddi and Moussa Nassourou (born 17.04.1985) will have to score more goals if Scorpion FC shall retain their top level status. Nassourou scored 11 goals for Cotonsport FC in 2007 and played top level football for Roumdé Adjia FC in 2009-2010.

André Ngon did well for CNIC-UIC de Douala at second level last season but has yet to score for his new club.

List of scorers so far this season (7 goals):

Pierre Fanguargue 2, Moussa Nassourou 2, Abdouraman Siddi 2.

The goalscorer against Union Douala on 14.03.2012 is currently unknown. 

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