By Fausat Rasaq

The Arole Oduduwa and Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II on Tuesday, hailed members and Management of the Ojaja II Football Club, for winning the keenly contested Taiwo Ogunjobi Under-17 memorial Cup.

In a statement by his Director of Media and Public Affairs, Comrade Moses Olafare, Ooni Ogunwusi described the tournament as a clear message that the good old days of grassroots sporting activities were gradually returning for the betterment of the country.

“The Ooni accepted the victory wholeheartedly and has concluded plans to host his boys; the winning team and their officials very soon to wine and dine like they normally do.

“Baba’s involvement in grassroots sports particularly football, is a product of his belief in the fact that countless untapped potentials lies in our local communities. All we need to do is to invest massively in competitions like this and we shall soon have super stars like Jay Jay Okocha, Kanu Nwakwo and Odion Ighalo among others springing up.

“The Ooni equally commended the organizers of the Taiwo Ogunjobi memorial Cup for a job well done to preserve the sweet memories of the late sports icon, Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi, included dignitaries like the Assistant Technical Director of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Coach Shiji Lagunju who presented the trophy to the winning Ojaja II FC among other well-meaning football stakeholders.” Olafare said.

Ojaja II FC had commenced the competition which held for three weeks at Ilesa, Osun state in which 16 clubs across the Southwest region participated on a good note by emerging unbeaten throughout all matches played at the group stage, including the interesting match against the Amaye FC, Okitipupa, Ondo State in which the Ojaja II FC won by 6 – 1.

It was a stunning outing for the Ojaja II footballer FC which, in the semifinals spanked Brightville FC of Ibadan, Oyo State by five goals to one (5 – 1), before crowning it all on Sunday by defeating Success FC, Ilesa, Osun State by two goals to one (2 – 1) to win the laurel.

The agile Ojaja II boys, like an icing on the cake won almost all individual awards in the competition. Kolawole Opeyemi emerged as the Most Valuable Player and highest goal scorer simultaneously while Idowu Joshua won the Best Goalkeeper award.

As part of their preparations for Dana Cup scheduled to hold in Denmark and the Gothia Cup in Gothenburg, Sweeden in July this year to play in the youth tournament where scouts from clubs around the world converge to pick and select talented and outstanding young players, the Ojaja II FC team and it’s officials are currently at the National Stadium, Abuja, Federal Capital Territory to participate in the pre-season tournament organized by Goal Project.

Ojaja II FC are owned by Ojaja II Football Academy; a football initiative of the Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, towards the growth of sporting activities especially in the grassroots using “Catch Them Young’ approach.

Ooni Ogunwusi had last year hosted the 2nd edition of the Ojaja II Principal tournament for 32 secondary schools drawn from across the state of Osun which gave Oduduwa College, Ile-Ife victory over Progress Academy, Modakeke in a 3 – 0 final match.

Fakunle Unity Government High School, Osogbo won the third place match against Ife City College, Ile-Ife through penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw at the end of 90 minutes.

As the overall winner of the tournament, Oduduwa College, Ile-Ife
received a brand new 18-seater bus with additional N500,000 cash price and a chance to participate in the Gothia Cup in Sweden later in the
yea. Progress Academy, Modakeke-Ife won a cash price of N300,000 as the first runner-up, while Fakunle Unity Government High School, Osogbo
bagged N150,000 cash prize.

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