Posted by: westafricanfootball | 03/07/2012

PLAYERS TO WATCH – MTN LIGUE 1 – IVORY COAST

It is difficult to find information about players in the Ivorian MTN Ligue 1 – especially English information. One of my goals is to give talented players “an identity”, hopefully participating in making them known to the world. There are several great players in the Ivory Coast and in this post, I will present a couple of players and post links to video clips showing some of their qualities

Name:

KABA, MOHAMED

 

184 cm

75 kg

Nationality:

IVORY COAST

DOB:

05.04.1989

Position:

Central midfielder

Season

Club

L

Games

Goals

2007

Stella Club d’Adjamé(Ivory Coast)

1

1

2008

Stella Club d’Adjamé(Ivory Coast)

1

1

2009

Stella Club d’Adjamé(Ivory Coast)

1

2

2010

Stella Club d’Adjamé(Ivory Coast)

1

0

2011

Stella Club d’Adjamé(Ivory Coast)

1

0

2012

Stella Club d’Adjamé(Ivory Coast)

1

Years

Squad

2008

Ivory Coast U-20 national football team

On 11.03.2012, a friend working with scouting watched the game between Africa Sports FC and Stella Club d’Adjamé. Few players were impressive but the central midfielder Mohamed Kaba of Stella had a wonderful game. Kaba is a quite experienced player with a great overview and ball control. He is often dictating the play of Stella. Stella will participate in the “Superdivision L1” after ending the season as number 2 in “Poule A”.

Video clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIKRQEYL6kQ&feature=BFa&list=UUiG3xJvvzDCvgdewCRhbocQ

Name:

FOFANA, MORYKÉ

 

Nationality:

IVORY COAST

DOB:

23.11.1991

Position:

Striker

Season

Club

L

Games

Goals

2009

EFYM(Ivory Coast)

1

0

2010

EFYM(Ivory Coast)

2

2011

EFYM(Ivory Coast)

2

2012

EFYM(Ivory Coast)

1

10

Year

Squad

2011

Ivory Coast B national football team

According to Fédération Ivoirienne de Football, Moryké Fofana scored 10 league goals during the 12 matches in the first stage of the MTN Ligue 1 2012. Playing for the modest EFYM, this is quite an achievement and most experts of Ivorian football will name Fofana as one of the revelations of the season. Fofana has been described as a modern striker with great strength, speed and smartness. The video clip shows a very skillful, speedy hard-working attacker. From 0:42 to 0:52 you can see a beautiful goal after some clever play.

Video clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvH0EtX2NbU&feature=plcp

Name:

KOFFI , FOBA KABRAN STEVENS

 

167 cm

59 kg

Nationality:

IVORY COAST

DOB:

12.08.1989

Position:

Attacking midfielder / Left-winger

Season

Club

L

Games

Goals

2007

ASEC Mimosas(Ivory Coast)

1

2

2008

Sabé Sports de Bouna(Ivory Coast)

1

3

2009

ASEC Mimosas(Ivory Coast)

1

10

2

2010

Séwé Sport de San Pedro(Ivory Coast)

1

4

2011

Séwé Sport de San Pedro(Ivory Coast)

1

2

2012

Séwé Sport de San Pedro(Ivory Coast)

1

Year

Squad

2008

Ivory Coast B national football team

2008

Ivory Coast U-20 national football team

2007

Ivory Coast U-23 national football team

Foba Kabran Stevens Koffi, often referred to as “Bibiche”, is the petit playmaker of Séwé Sport of San Pedro. Koffi failed to break through at ASEC Mimosas but has blossomed at Séwé Sport, operating as a winger, attacking midfielder or striker. Koffi is an excellent dribbler, has accurate passes and is good in recovering the ball. He is very entertaining to watch when he is in top form. In 2008, Koffi played for the Ivory Coast B national football team during the 2008 UEMOA Tournament.

Séwé Sport will participate in the “Superdivision L1” after ending the season as number 1 in “Poule A”. So far this season, Koffi has scored three goals.

Video clips:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjSfOx0D3uc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8f8jR_tncx8

Posted by: westafricanfootball | 30/06/2012

DAKAR UNIVERSITÉ CLUB – SEASON REVIEW

Dakar Université Club, mostly referred to as DUC, has impressed me during the Ligue 1 2011-2012, ending the season as number three in “Poule A”. DUC, a club with limited resources, won 50 percent of their matches and was only one point away from reaching the final stages.

In this post, I will present information and statistics about their season.

Before the current season, DUC lost their brilliant goalkeeper Ousseynou Ndiaye to Touré Kunda. Their new goalkeeper, Aziz Dramé, has done well, conceding a maximum of five goals during his 8-11 performances. El Hadji Abdou Sene or Alioune Badara Diedhiou is backup goalkeeper.

Central defender Mansour Badji is often captaining the team and the experienced strongman is remarkably consistent in his performances. Just like last season, Badji was partnered by the rock-solid Souleymane Sadio. Diarga Fall has been a key player the last couple of seasons but played less then 50 percent of the matches this season, perhaps because of injury. Youssoupha Koné is another regular defender, most likely playing at right-back. I am not sure but I also believe Fadel Fall is a full-back, alternatively a midfielder.

Pape Amadou Cissé is a key player in midfield, primarily with defensive responsibilities. Nigerian midfielder Johnson Nwachukwu is a tough, hard-working, defensive midfielder who has done well since joining the club. Jean Remy Bocande is a creative attacking midfielder or winger. Together with playmaker Cheikhal Ababacar Cissé and Babacar Niang, Bocande is one of the most dangerous attacking weapons of DUC. Famara Mané is a promosing midfielder, often found on the wing.

The top striker of DUC is Papis Dembo Coly, usually partnered by Alioune Fall or Cheikh Ndiaye. Some of the qualities of Coly can be viewed in the following clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWGF98mxNXE

Abdoulaye Touré, who scored eight league goals during the Ligue 1 2010-2011, had a disappointing season.

The picture of DUC was found on thianlt.blogspot.com.

Name Position D.O.B. Nat. Matches(d) Matches(e) Goals
BADJI, Mansour D     10 14 0
BOCANDE, Jean Remy M   10 14 2
CISSÉ, Cheikhal Ababacar M     9 11 2
CISSÉ, Pape Amadou M     9 13 0
COLY, Abdoulaye       1 1 0
COLY, Papis Dembo F 19.07.1990   8 11 3
DIALLO, Ousmane       3 4 0
DIEDHIOU, Alioune Badara G     0 0 0
DRAMÉ, Aziz G     8 11 0
FALL, Alioune F     9 11 2
FALL, Diarga D     4 6 0
FALL, Fadel       10 13 0
KONÉ, Youssoupha D     7 10 0
MANÉ, Famara M     10 13 1
MANGA, Thomas D     1 1 0
NDIAYE, Cheikh F     7 10 0
NIANG, Babacar M     9 13 0
NWACHUKWU, Johnson M  ??.??.1992 NGA 7 10 0
SADIO, Souleymane D     10 14 0
SENE, El Hadji Abdou G     2 3 0
TOURÉ, Abdoulaye F     6 8 0

 

Explanations:

“Name” – the player’s full name.

“Position” – position on the field, either goalkeeper (G), defender (D), midfielder (M) or forward (F).

“Date of birth” – when only birth years are mentioned, these are based on estimates.

“Nat.” – nationality. Unless specified, I assume all players are from Senegal.

“Matches(d)” – number of matches I can document the player has been involved in.

“Matches(e)” – number of matches, based on an estimate.

“Goals” – only documented league goals.

Posted by: westafricanfootball | 28/06/2012

AS DOUANES – SEASON REVIEW

AS Douanes, based in the Senegalese capital of Dakar, had a disappointing campaign, scoring only six goals in 14 matches, ending the season as number 5 in Poule B. AS Douanes has won the Senegalese Ligue 1 five times and is traditionally a popular team in the country.

In this post, I will present information and statistics about their season.

Issa Ndiaye is first choice goalkeeper. The 21 year old is widely considered as one of the future goalkeeping hopes of Senegalese football, having experience from the Senegal B and Senegal U-20 national football team. At the time of writing, Ndiaye is part of the Senegal U-23 national football team and it seems likely that he will be part of the Senegalese team for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Ndiaye has played for AS Douanes for at least five seasons. Backup goalkeeper is youngster Pape Samba Diallo, who was part of the Senegal U-20 national football team in April 2012.

The picture was found on bonbinisportconsultancy.com and shows goalkeeper Issa Ndiaye.

AS Douanes has a strong defence and Sidy Ndiaye is arguably the main man. Ndiaye is mostly used as a centre-back and has several matches for the Senegal B national football team. Ndiaye is often surrounded by Pape Ousmane Ndaw, formerly of Cotonsport FC (Cameroon), and El Hadj Youssouph Konaté. The experienced Ass Ndoye, often captaining the side, is widely considered as one of the best left-backs in the league. I believe Ablaye Diène is preferred at right-back.

Mamadou Dieye, formerly of ASC HLM, is a big, strong, hard-tackling defensive midfielder and arguably the most interesting prospect at the club – beside goalkeeper Issa Ndiaye. Baye Demba Mbengue and Sory Simakha, formerly of ASC Niary Tally, are two other important midfielders. Despite being 33 years old, Moussa Ndiaye is still the star player of AS Douanes. Ndiaye, perhaps most famous for his 101 matches for CS Sedan (France), played three matches for Senegal during the FIFA 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.

It is easy to see that the attack is the weak spot of AS Douanes. Top scorer was Samba Tamboura with only two goals. Ibrahima Kidièra, formerly of Elite foot de Dakar and the Senegal U-23 and Senegal U-20 national football team, failed to score a single goal despite playing regularly. Powerful striker Benoit Toupane, who seemed so talented in 2008, has been largely ineffective.

Name Position D.O.B. Nat. Matches(d) Matches(e) Goals
DIAGNE, Gorgui Ousmane D     2 3 0
DIAGNE, Pape Babacar F   1 1 0
DIALLO, El Hadji Ngagne Sidy       5 6 1
DIALLO, Pape Samba G     1 1 0
DIENE, Ablaye D     7 10 1
DIEYE, Mamadou M 10.11.1991   10 14 0
DIOP, Falilou       2 3 0
FAYE, Pape Ibrahima       9 13 0
GAYE, Mame Birame M     3 4 0
GAYE, Moussa       3 4 0
KIDIÉRA, Ibrahima F     9 13 0
KONATÉ, El Hadj Youssouph D     8 11 0
MBENGUE, Baye Demba M     7 10 1
MENDY, Justin       3 4 0
NDAW, Pape Ousmane D     8 11 0
NDIAYE, Abdoulaye F 01.12.1989   4 6 0
NDIAYE, Issa G 19.04.1991   9 13 0
NDIAYE, Moussa M 20.02.1979   10 14 1
NDIAYE, Sidy D 07.07.1987   10 13 0
NDOYE, Ass D     10 14 0
NDOYE, Pape Assane M     4 6 0
SIMAKHA, Sory M     7 10 0
TAMBOURA, Samba F     3 4 2
TCHAMBIANO, Aziz Moustapha       1 1 0
TOUPANE, Benoit F     7 10 0

 

Explanations:

“Name” – the player’s full name.

“Position” – position on the field, either goalkeeper (G), defender (D), midfielder (M) or forward (F).

“Date of birth” – when only birth years are mentioned, these are based on estimates.

“Nat.” – nationality. Unless specified, I assume all players are from Senegal.

“Matches(d)” – number of matches I can document the player has been involved in.

“Matches(e)” – number of matches, based on an estimate.

“Goals” – only documented league goals.

Posted by: westafricanfootball | 26/06/2012

US GORÉE – SEASON REVIEW

US Gorée will be disappointed with their season, finishing as number seven in Poule A, having just ASC Yakaar behind them. US Gorée plays their home matches in Dakar, despite originating from Ile de Gorée, an island located 2 kilometers at sea from the main harbor of Dakar.

In this post, I will present information and statistics about their season.

Three different goalkeepers have been fighting for the number one shirt during the season. Mame Abdou Ndoye, formerly of ASC Yakaar, started the season as first choice. Mahame Sow, signed from Touré Kunda before the season, was preferred from March 2012 until the end of the season. Babacar Ba has also played a couple of matches.

Vieux Madiam Diop, Cheikh Amadou Ndiaye and Abdou Chafi Sow are the main men in defence. Sow, who played for ASC Diaraf last season, is an experienced and highly regarded central defender. Ndiaye is the current captain of the team. Abdourahmane Diop and Ndikou Doucouré are often used as full-backs. US Gorée conceded 17 goals in 14 matches – not a high number but no team in Senegal conceded more.

The midfield of US Gorée is quite interesting. Ibrahima Yigo Ba is a highly talented central midfielder with an immense physical presense.  Ba impressed as a trialist at Danish side FC Midtjylland in May 2012. Roger Gomis, also a central midfielder, is currently part of the Senegal U-20 national football team. Maurice Ngom, one of the most interesting prospects at the club, has lost several matches during the season because of obligations with the Senegal U-23 national football team. Both Ba and Ngom are on the radar of European clubs. Olivier Kabou is an experienced attacking midfielder / winger and one of the first names on the team sheet. Ousmane Mbengue is traditionally a left-winger and Yally Fall Guène, an excellent dribbler, can play at both flanks.

The picture is of Ibrahima Yigo Ba and is taken from Zimbio.

Up front, US Gorée is depending on top striker Alassane Diallo. Diallo scored seven goals and is the joint top scorer in the league, together with Mouhamadou Dieng of Guédiawaye FC. Mamadou Niang, formerly of ASC HLM, and Malick Thiaw, who has been with US Gorée for at least six seasons, failed to score regularly. Abdou Karim Sané is an interesting midfielder / attacker.

Please note that the goalscorer of US Gorée against CSS Richard-Toll on 10.03.2012 is still unknown.

Name Position D.O.B. Nat. Matches(d) Matches(e) Goals
BA, Babacar G 3 4 0
BA, Ibrahima Yigo M 14.10.1991 8 9 0
DIALLO, Alassane F 11 14 7
DIALLO, Pape Moussa 4 6 1
DIOP, Abdourahmane D 6 9 0
DIOP, Vieux Madiam D 17.11.1989 8 11 0
DOUCOURÉ, Ndikou D 4 6 0
DOUMBOUYA, Mademba D 1 1 0
GOMIS, Roger M 7 11 0
GUÈNE, Yally Fall M 10.05.1986 7 10 1
KABOU, Olivier M 8 11 0
LO, Cheikhouna Tidiane F 05.03.1987 1 1 0
MANGA, Augustin 2 3 0
MBENGUE, Ousmane M 8 11 0
NDIAYE, Antoine 3 4 0
NDIAYE, Cheikh Amadou D 9 13 0
NDOYE, Mame Abdou G 4 6 0
NGOM, Maurice M 5 7 0
NIANG, Mamadou F 10.11.1989 8 10 2
NIANG, Pape Amadou 3 4 0
SALL, Sidy Moussa 1 1 0
SANÉ, Abdou Karim F 6 8 1
SOW, Abdou Chafi D 10 14 0
SOW, Mahame G 5 7 0
THIAW, Malick F 5 7 1

Explanations:

“Name” – the player’s full name.

“Position” – position on the field, either goalkeeper (G), defender (D), midfielder (M) or forward (F).

“Date of birth” – when only birth years are mentioned, these are based on estimates.

“Nat.” – nationality. Unless specified, I assume all players are from Senegal.

“Matches(d)” – number of matches I can document the player has been involved in.

“Matches(e)” – number of matches, based on an estimate.

“Goals” – only documented league goals.

Posted by: westafricanfootball | 24/06/2012

ASC DIARAF – SEASON REVIEW

The first stage of the Senegalese Ligue 1 2011-2012 finished on 20.05.2012. Four teams have advanced to the next stage: the Diambars academy and last season’s champions US Ouakam from “Poule A” and ASC Niary Tally and Casa Sport from “Poule B”. ASC Diaraf, historically the main club in Senegal, missed out on qualification by the slightest of margins and will be disappointed with their performance this season.

In this post, I will present information and statistics about their season.

Goalkeeper Mohamed Salzman, signed from CSS Richard-Toll before the season, played 13 of 14 matches and proved to be one of the revelations of the season. The defence of ASC Diaraf usually consisted of central defenders El Hadji Pape Seye Diallo and Jean Francois Diokh, left-back Babacar Seck and right-back Matar Kanté. Diallo was signed from Guédiawaye FC before the season, while veteran Diokh won the league with US Ouakam last season. Kanté was part of the Yeggo Foot Pro team that won promotion to the Ligue 1 last season. Seck is an attacking-minded, modern full-back who could have a bright future in Senegalese football. Despite playing with four new defensive players, including goalkeeper Salzman, signed from four different clubs, the players blended rather quickly and ASC Diaraf conceded only eight goals in 14 matches.

ASC Diaraf practiced a rotation system in midfield but Djibril Sidibé and Karamba Diallo, primarily central midfielders, seemed to play whenever they were fit. The enterprising Ibrahima Cissé, most likely born in 1985 or 1986, was often found on the right side of midfield. Strongman Dominque Gomis, Pape Macou Sarr, Vito Badiane and Ibou Sene Diouf also featured regularly, the latter mostly making substitute appearances. On paper, all mentioned players are considered as top shelf in the Senegalese league. Especially Sarr, a skillful attacking midfielder often found on the left-wing, is on the radar of several European clubs. Some of his qualities can be viewed in this clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qn-DUvbMQ_4

Gomis is also an interesting player, a tall (188 centimeters), strong defensive midfielder who fights hard and is important to the balance of the team. Badiane, formerly of SC Covilha (Portugal) and Maritzburg United FC (South Africa), and Diallo were both signed from AS Douanes before the current season.

Up front, veteran striker Alpha Oumar Sow became the top scorer of the team. Sow was often partnered by Abdou Latif Guenoune or Ivorian striker Alpha Tidiane Koné. Koné, apparently a former player of Denguélé d’Odienné (Ivory Coast) and CS Hammam-Lif (Tunisia), will be disappointed not having scored a single goal in eight or nine performances.

The Senegalese league is a physical league and both Sow and Guenoune are strikers with great strength. Sow has experience from European football, namely US Sénart-Moissy in France. Guenoune made a name for himself during the season 2010-2011, when he played for both ASC Dahra and AS Douanes.

The picture is of Sow and was found on seneweb.com.

Statistics:

Name Position D.O.B. Nat. Matches(d) Matches(e) Goals
BADIANE, Vito M 02.06.1986   11 13 0
CISSÉ, Ibrahima     13   3
DAFFÉ, Mohamed       1 1 0
DIALLO, El Hadji Pape Seye D 27.01.1986   13 14 0
DIALLO, Karamba M 01.02.1986   9 10 0
DIOKH, Jean Francois D     11 12 0
DIOUF, Ibou Sene M 10.07.1988   12 13 1
GOMIS, Dominique M 24.08.1987   10 11 0
GUENOUNE, Abdou Latif F     9 11 3
GUEYE,  Papa Bacary D     1 1 0
KANTÉ, Matar D     12 13 0
KONÉ, Alpha Tidiane F   CIV 8 9 0
MBAYE, Pape Mabousso M 14.07.1986   1 1 0
NDIOUR, Ousseynou G 18.03.1971   1 1 0
NIANG, Ismaïla F     7 8 0
SALZMAN, Mohamed G     13   0
SANKHARÉ, Adama       3 3 0
SARR, Pape Macou M 25.07.1991   8 9 0
SECK, Babacar D     12 13 3
SIDIBÉ, Djibril M     11 12 2
SOW, Alpha Oumar F 12.02.1984   12 13 5
SYLLA, Abdou Lahat D     1 1 0
TALL, Bocar Demba D     2 2 0

 

Explanations:

“Name” – the player’s full name.

“Position” – position on the field, either goalkeeper (G), defender (D), midfielder (M) or forward (F).

“Date of birth” – when only birth years are mentioned, these are based on estimates.

“Nat.” – nationality. Unless specified, I assume all players are from Senegal.

“Matches(d)” – number of matches I can document the player has been involved in.

“Matches(e)” – number of matches, based on an estimate.

“Goals” – only documented league goals.

Posted by: westafricanfootball | 20/06/2012

EBRIMA CAMARA

In this post, I will present attacker Ebrima Camara of Liberty Professionals FC, the Ghanian top level side. As far as I know, Camara is the only Gambian player in any of the five leagues I follow.

Liberty Professionals FC, based in Dansoman in the Greater Accra Region, signed Camara in February or March 2012 from Bakau United FC. Apparently, Camara signed a two-year deal.

My first record of Camara is from the GFA League First Division 2009, the top level of Gambian football. Camara played for Bakau United FC and formed a dangerous partnership with powerful striker Pa Amadou Gai, formerly of ASC HLM in the Senegalese Ligue 1. Apparently, Bakau United FC signed Camara from Jambanjelly United FC.

Camara scored regularly for Bakau United FC during the next season, the GFA League First Division 2009-2010. In July 2010, Camara was picked for the Gambia U-20 national football team.

As far as I know, Camara made his full international debut for Gambia on 29.03.2011, during an international friendly match against Equatorial Guinea.

In April 2011, Camara was part of “The Young Scorpions”, the Gambia U-20 national football team, for the 2011 African Youth Championship. Gambia U-20 had a poor tournament and Camara made only one substitute appearance during Gambia’s three matches. Confusingly, Gambia U-20 had another player in their squad called “Ebrima Camara”, a defender currently playing for Västra Frölunda IF in Sweden.

In July 2011, Camara was yet again training with the Gambia national football team. In September 2011, Camara played for Liberty Professionals FC during the so-called GHALCA Glo 8, a pre-season tournament. Apparently, the club had to wait for about six months to register the player for league action.

Camara scored two league goals during the GLO Premier League 2011-2012. I’m not sure how many matches he played but it could not have been more than 12-15. Interestingly, Latif Salifu (born 01.08.1990), the star striker of Liberty Professionals FC, scored eight goals since Camara joined the club. My theory is that the presence of Camara, who is a lanky striker, gave a lot more space to the petit and hard-running Salifu.

I’ve read several reports on goals Camara has scored and he is apparently an allround striker who is good with both his feet and his head. Ghanaian reports has described Camara as a lively striker who causes a lot of problems for any opposition.

According to Cafonline, Camara is born 14.04.1993, making him 19 years old at the time of writing.

Two pictures of Camara, wearing white shirt, can be found here:

http://www.backpagepix.co.za/live/download_new.php?image_id=708697

http://www.backpagepix.co.za/live/download_new.php?image_id=708648

I am looking forward to the GLO Premier League 2012-2013 and hopefully, Camara will continue his development and become a household name in Ghanaian football.

The name of Ebrima Camara is often misspelled in Ghanian media and some sources have also referred to him as a “Guinean striker”. When Camara played in Gambia, he was sometimes referred to as “Bura”.

Posted by: westafricanfootball | 18/06/2012

OBSERVATIONS FROM THE NIGERIA PREMIER LEAGUE 2012

* During the last couple of weeks, Nigerian media has really discovered the dreadlocked striker Andrew Abalogu from ABS FC. Abalogu, who played for second level side Abia Warriors FC last season, has so far scored seven league goals during his first season at top level of Nigerian football. According to MTN Football, Abalogu is born 03.10.1992. He is apparently 175 centimeters and 70 kilos, and scored six goals for Abia Warriors FC during the Nigeria National League 2010-2011.

The picture of Abalogu was found on MTN Football: http://www.mtnfootball.com/africa/nigeria/premier-league/news/2012/june/14-npl-star-of-the-week-andrew-abalogu.html.

* Apparently, Dolphins FC has signed promising striker Abubakar Umar from Wikki Tourists FC. Umar, who has scored four league goals so far this season, was part of the Nigeria U-20 national football team earlier this season.

* If Ocean Boys FC will stay clear of relegation this season, captain Andrew Nwodu should get big parts of the credit. Nwodu, a central defender or defensive midfielder, is a hard-working, experienced player, formerly of Rangers International FC, Nasarawa United FC and Sharks FC.

* Lobi Stars FC made a stroke of genius when they signed goalkeeper John Lawrence (born 07.04.1987) from Enyimba FC. Lawrence has made several eye-catching performances this season.

* Samuel Olabisi, the centre-back at Shooting Stars FC, has been one of the discoveries of the season. Olabisi, formerly of the Westerlo Football Academy in Lagos, has forced his way into the first team during the three last months. According to Felele247, Olabisi has played 15 consecutive matches for 3SC without getting a single yellow card.

* I find it rather obvious that right-winger Gomo Onduku of Sharks FC will feature on several “Team of the season-lists” later this summer. Onduku, one of the most exciting prospects in the Nigeria Premier League, has scored eight league goals so far this season.

* Kola Anubi (born 24.03.1987) of Sharks FC is also a player who deserves a lot more attention. Anubi, widely considered as one of the best central midfielders in the league, has been consistent all season and scored four league goals.

* Sherif Jimoh (born 10.10.1992) of Kwara United FC is another player who rarerly gets headlines despite having an impressive season. Jimoh has a lot of defensive responsibilities and balances the team well, but also has the ability to make decisive passes.

* Warri Wolves FC has signed Musa Kundi, an experienced midfielder or right-back, formerly of Sharks FC, Ocean Boys FC, Akwa United FC and Ocean Boys FC.

* Mensah Nsouhoho (born 31.12.1990), the Togolese goalkeeper of Rangers International FC, is currently giving regular first-choice Godwin Ayalogu competition for the number one shirt. Nsouhoho played for the Togo U-17 national football team during the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup in South Korea.

* On 10.06.2012, towering central defender James Okwuosa (born 14.09.1990) scored his first league goal of the season for Rangers International FC.

* Speaking of goalscoring defenders, Ike Thankgod (born 04.04.1985) of Warri Wolves FC has actually scored five goals so far this season. Thankgod, a rugged central defender, is a true warrior and almost unbeatable in the air.

* Later this month, Chikeluba Francis Ofoedu, the top scorer of Rangers International FC, will travel to Norwegian top level side Rosenborg BK for trials. Ofoedu has scored 10 league goals so far and here is a short summary of his goals:

1 goal against Kano Pillars FC on 01.02.2012. This was a penalty goal.

1 goal against Enyimba FC on 15.02.2012. According to MTN Football, Ofoedu “pounced on the ball after Enyimba goalkeeper Paul Godwin fumbled a cross by Haliru Umar”.

1 goal against Heartland FC on 19.02.2012. This was a penalty goal.

1 goal against ABS FC on 26.02.2012. According to Felele247, Ofoedu capitalized on a defensive blunder by ABS FC.

1 goal against Lobi Stars FC on 04.03.2012. According to Peoples Daily, Ofoedu scored after beating Moses Bunde of Lobi Stars FC from the right flank.

1 goal against Ocean Boys FC on 14.03.2012. I have not found information about this goal but apparently Ofoedu beat the Ocean Boys defenders so I believe it was scored from open play.

1 goal against Akwa United FC on 25.03.2012. I have not found information about this goal but I believe it was scored from open play.

1 goal against Shooting Stars FC on 01.04.2012. The goal was described as follows on http://www.shootingstarssc.net:

“Rangers got a controversial first goal when Chikweluba Ofoedu pulled back Olabisi Samuel before rounding Dele Ajiboye and slotted the ball into the bottom left corner in the 27th minute, with the centre referee receiving knocks for allowing the goal to stand despite obvious foul.”

1 goal against Gombe United FC on 29.04.2012. According to goal.com, Ofoedu scored after good interchange of passes with midfielders Chinedu Sunday and Ugonna Uzochukwu.

1 goal against Jigawa Golden Stars FC on 02.05.2012. This was a penalty goal.

Based on the above, Ofoedu has scored seven goals from open play and three penalty goals. At the time of writing, Rangers International FC has played 31 matches and I believe Ofoedu has played almost every one of them. Ofoedu, who is most likely born in 1992, is definitely a promising player but his goalscoring record is not that impressive. Ofoedu was presented in my post from 12.03.2012:

https://westafricanfootball.com/2012/03/12/chikeluba-ofoedu/

Posted by: westafricanfootball | 15/06/2012

TEMA YOUTH FC – PLAYER PRESENTATION

GOALKEEPERS

Sulemana ADAM

DOB: Unknown

Backup goalkeeper.

Michael ADJEI

DOB: Unknown

Backup goalkeeper.

Joseph HALM

DOB: Unknown

Halm started the season with the number one shirt but lost his place to Kofi Mensah. Halm is approximately 24 years old and is a former player of Great Olympics.

Kofi MENSAH

DOB: Unknown

First-choice goalkeeper who has gotten some rave reviews this season. Mensah was also an important player when Tema Youth FC won promotion to the GLO Premier League last season.

DEFENDERS

Alexander ANTWI

DOB: 22.02.1986

Antwi, a strong central defender, joined Tema Youth FC during the mid-season transfer window. Antwi was part of the Tema Youth FC squad the last time the club played at top level, during the GLO Premier League 2008-2009. Last season, Antwi was a fringe player for Berekum Chelsea FC.

Jeremiah ARKORFUL

DOB: Unknown

Arkorful, an attacking minded left-back, has been one of the revelations of the season. Arkorful, most likely in his early twenties, is skillful, powerful and truly an attacking weapon for Tema Youth FC. He scored two goals during the season.

Joseph Larweh ATTAMAH

DOB: Unknown

Attamah is an effective central defender who was a key player when Tema Youth FC won promotion last season.

Joseph Kofi BARTELS

DOB: Unknown

Bartels, a defender or midfielder, rarerly featured in the matchday squad.

Emmanuel BOATENG

DOB: Unknown

Boateng, primarily a right-back, is a powerful defender.

Jonathan ESHUN

DOB: Unknown

Eshun, a backup defender, never managed to break into the first team.

Joshua ONINKU

DOB: Unknown

Oninku is comfortable both at left-back and right-back. In May 2012, Oninku was one of three candidates for the Ghana Football Association Most Promising Player-award. Oninku has been consistent at the back and has impressed with his overlapping runs, precise crosses and hard tackles.

Kenneth OWUSU

DOB: Unknown

Owusu is a strongman in the heart of the defence and one of the players who deserves special attention. Owusu scored one goal during the season.

Stephen TETTEH

DOB: Unknown

Tetteh is a strong central defender or defensive midfielder.

Emmanuel Ofori TEYEHUGMEH

DOB: 07.10.1992

Teyehugmeh is a fast central defender, formerly of Berekum Chelsea FC. As far as I know, Teyehugmeh never broke into the first team.

MIDFIELDERS

Bernard AKUFFO

DOB: 20.12.1986

Akuffo was captaining Tema Youth FC until he joined AshantiGold SC in January 2012. Akuffo played 12 matches and scored three goals before he left the club. Akuffo is primarily an attacking midfielder or left-winger, known for his creativity and hard running. Akuffo was part of the Tema Youth FC squad the last time the club played at top level, during the GLO Premier League 2008-2009.

Idan CONNEY

DOB: Unknown

Conney is a hard-working attacking midfielder or winger who joined Tema Youth FC during the mid-season transfer window.

Abdulai HAMZA

DOB: 30.11.1987

On paper, Hamza is the star of the team. The attacking midfielder, formerly of Real Sportive and Hearts of Oak SC, scored four goals, all during the first part of the season. During the last three months of the season, Hamza struggled to find his top form and the playmaker will most likely be disappointed with his overall performances.

Issah HUZEIFA

DOB: Unknown

Huzeifa, a key midfielder when Tema Youth FC won promotion, played only a handful matches during the season, making few headlines.

Jacobson LARWEH

DOB: Unknown

Larweh played a couple of matches during the first part of the season.

Derrick MENSAH

DOB: Unknown

Mensah is a key player at central midfield and definitely a player to watch. Mensah trained with the Ghana U-20 national football team during the season and has also been part of Ghana U-23. Mensah has a great all-round view of the match and is often directing the constribution of the ball. He failed to score a single goal during his first ever season at top level and this is an area he should try to improve.

Moses ODJER

DOB: Unknown

Creative midfielder Odjer was apparently 15 years old when the season started. Despite his inexperience, Odjer was one of the discoveries of the season, scoring two goals and impressing with his skill, passing and endurance. Apparently, foreign scouts and local top clubs, including Hearts of Oak SC, have already discovered the youngster.

Albert OSEI

DOB: Uknown

Osei is a stylish midfielder who joined Tema Youth FC during the mid-season transfer window.

Zubeiru SALIFU

DOB: Unknown

Salifu was in and out of the first eleven during the season, performing well as a defensive midfielder or central defender. Some glimpses of his qualities can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgU7_aAr5MI&feature=relmfu. According to this video, Salifu is born 07.11.1994 and 187 centimeters.

Issah SAYIBU

DOB: Unknown

Sayibu was mostly a substitute but played a couple of matches, mostly at the left side of the midfield.

Benjamin TERRY

DOB: Unknown

Terry is a lively winger, often found on the left, who scored two league goals during the season.

FORWARDS

Isaac AMOAH

DOB: Unknown

Lively attacker Amoah, formerly of Liberty Professionals FC, scored three goals during the season.

John ANTWI

DOB: Unknown

Expectations were high when John Antwi joined Tema Youth FC from Hearts of Oak SC before the current season. Antwi, a big striker, was mostly used as a substitute at the Phobians and he struggled to get playing time at Tema Youth FC as well.

Daniel APPIAH

DOB: Unknown

Appiah is a hard working and mobile attacker who can play on both flanks or as a striker. Apparently, Appiah was top scorer when Tema Youth FC won promotion before the current season. Appiah scored four league goals in his first season at top level. He was often used as a substitute, but should be satisfied with his performances.

Abel Armah HAMMOND

DOB: Unknown

Hammond, a powerful striker, joined Tema Youth FC during the mid-season transfer window and scored two goals.

Francis NARH

DOB: Unknown

Narh, an energetic striker or winger, became top scorer in his first ever season at top level, scoring six goals. The youngster is apparently on the radar of Asante Kotoko FC.

John NYAMEKYE

DOB: Unknown

The young striker was a fringe player during the first part of the season.

Nicholas ODJER

DOB: Unknown

Odjer made mostly substitute appearances during the season, scoring two goals. Despite not being a regular, Odjer looked sharp whenever he got time on the field. Nicholas Odjer and Moses Odjer are brothers.

The picture is taken from Ghanasoccernet and shows Francis Narh, Moses Odjer and Jeremiah Arkorful.

Posted by: westafricanfootball | 13/06/2012

ASIEDU ATTOBRAH

Asiedu Attobrah has been one of the revelations of the GLO Premier League 2011-2012. Attobrah, a hard-working midfielder, has just finished his fourth season at New Edubiase United FC, a rather modest side that became number five in the league.

My first record of Attobrah is from the Division One League 2008-2009, the second level of Ghanaian football. In August 2009, Attobrah was part of the team that won promotion to the GLO Premier League 2009-2010. Attobrah made few headlines during his first season at top level.

The following season, the GLO Premier League 2010-2011, proved to be a breakthrough season for Attobrah. Attobrah became an established member of the first team and forced his way into the squad of the Ghana U-17 national football team, the so-called Black Starlets. Attobrah did not score any league goals during the season.

His first ever league goal was scored on 18.12.2011, in Week 12 of the GLO Premier League 2011-2012. Attobrah became a key player for New Edubiase United FC during the season, playing regularly, scoring a total of three league goals and even captaining the side in some matches. Attobrah managed several assists during the season, which benefited top striker Emmanuel Baffour, the leading scorer in the GLO Premier League 2011-2011 with 21 goals.

In May 2012, Attobrah was included in the squad of the Ghana B national football team. Apparently, Attobrah also participated in training sessions with the Ghana U-20 national football during the season. He is not an established member of any national football team at the time of writing.

According to unconfirmed sources, Attobrah is born 15.03.1995. If this is correct, Attobrah was actually 14 years old when he played first team football for New Edubiase United FC.

Attobrah is often found in central midfield or on the right-side of the midfield. He can also play on both wings or as an classical attacking midfielder / playmaker. His work-rate, agressiveness and discipline is truly impressive. Attobrah is the kind of player that never takes a rest. Attobrah also possesses creativity and intelligence. He is known for dictating the pace of the game, knowing exactly when to pass and when to hold up the ball. In fact, Attobrah is pretty much a complete midfield architect.

The following clips shows glimpses of his qualities:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSzY4Ajf7So

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFEHdofBHn8&feature=related

In May 2012, Attobrah was linked to league champions Asante Kotoko FC. It seems likely that Attobrah will join a better club during the summer. The name of Attobrah is often misspelled as “Asiedu Atobrah”, “Asiedu Attobra” or “Asiedu Attorbrah”. The picture was found on Ghanasoccernet.

Posted by: westafricanfootball | 09/06/2012

OBSERVATIONS FROM THE NIGERIAN PREMIER LEAGUE 2012

* Attacker Funsho Alamayo started the season at second level side Ajiroba-Ooni FC, as far as I know without scoring a single league goal. In May 2012, Alamayo joined ABS FC where he has already made his full debut.

* The attacking pair of Abdulrahman Bashir and Andrew Abalogu at ABS FC keeps on impressing. Bashir has scored nine league goals while Abalogu, playing his first ever season at top level, has scored seven.

* Enyimba FC has signed veteran goalkeeper Uche Akubike (born 17.03.1980) from Gombe United FC. Akubike will face tough competition from Godwin Paul (born 16.09.1987), Richard Ocheayi and Chinedu Agwu.

* I recently discovered that Niger Tornadoes FC has signed defender Patrick Sylvester Agada (born 02.12.1990) from Zamfara United FC.

* One of the things that fascinate me about Nigerian football is that a player often comes from practically nowhere and makes a name for himself in a matter of few months. This is definitely the case with striker Yahaya Adamu (born 17.07.1993) from Rising Stars FC. Adamu has scored five league goals for the struggling side between 28.04.2012 and 07.06.2012. The youngster was presented by MTN Football on 08.06.2012 and won the “NPL Star of the Week-award”: http://www.mtnfootball.com/africa/nigeria/premier-league/news/2012/june/08-npl-star-of-the-week-yahaya-adamu.html. The picture of Adamu was found at this page. Adamu is wearing the yellow shirt and the rugged player in white is tough central defender Cyril Oriaku of Rangers International FC, one of the unsung heroes of the Nigeria Premier League.

Adamu played for various amateur clubs before joining the Akure-based side during the mid-season transfer window. I believe he has some sort of connection with Sunshine Stars FC, the top club in Akure.

* On 07.06.2012, youngster Luter Iyorhe scored his first ever league goal for Lobi Stars FC. Iyorhe, an attacking midfielder of striker, had only weeks before been given a professional contract after playing for the club’s reserve team.

* I believe Akwa United FC has signed a player called Moses Opitoke, formerly of second level side Remo FC from Sagamu in southwestern Nigeria.

* On 07.06.2012, petit attacker Jolly Osas (born 30.05.1993) scored his first league goal for Heartland FC. Osas, who can play as a striker, winger or attacking midfielder, played for Shooting Stars FC and Zamfara United FC during the Nigeria Premier League 2010-2011. Osas recently scored a hat-trick during the Federations Cup and he is apparently in top form.

* Jigawa Golden Stars FC has played five matches without losing and could be on their way out of trouble. The Hadejia-based side has two good goalkeepers in Henry Anozie and Abdulazeez Adieza. The main defender is Jude Ebitowa, formerly of Ocean Boys FC and Nasarawa United FC. Bala Mohammed (born 04.01.1988) is running the midfield. The former captain of Kano Pillars FC is top scorer with nine league goals. Up front, exciting prospects Noble Anasoh (born 15.07.1989) and John-Paul Chinedu has been wonderful in what I believe is their first ever seasons at top level.

* Lately, Shooting Stars FC has been performing a lot better then in the beginning of the season. Personally, I think this is caused by some smart investments during the mid-season transfer window. Playmaker Philip Asuquo and lanky striker Tony Edjomariegwe (born 01.09.1989), both signed from Kwara United FC, has been revelations. Especially Asuquo, who has been described as a great passer of the ball, an intelligent, combative player and a good marker, has injected quality into the team, forming a great parthership with central midfielder Sola Adeboye, one of the most consistent and praised performers this season.

* I can now confirm that Kwara United FC has signed Cameroonian Mark Kipeh Pangwoh, formerly of Sable FC and the Cameroon U-23 national football team.

* Goalkeeper Kazeem Yekeen (born 01.12.1992) is having a wonderful season for Kwara United FC. I recently discovered that the current backup goalkeeper at the club is Ikhana Azeez (born 18.12.1988), a product of the Pepsi Football Academy.

* Red-hot striker Sibi Gwar (born 09.09.1987) of Niger Tornadoes FC is the current top scorer of the Nigeria Premier League 2012 with 12 league goals. Chikeluba Francis Ofoedu of Rangers International FC and Mohammed Gambo (born 10.03.1988) of Kano Pillars FC has scored 10 goals.

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