By Ikenna Nwokedi
Energy Bombers of Nnewi on Sunday, 11th December 2022 emerged champions for the senior levels of the 11th edition of the Linken football competition cup.
The football fiesta which commenced on the 4th of September 2022 saw more than 32 football clubs and academies across the state featuring in three categories of the tournament for under-13, under-15 and senior levels.
The final match played at the FC Ifeanyi Ubah International Stadium Ozubulu-Nnewi saw Energy Bombers seeing off Somon FC of Nnewi by two unreplied goals scored by Peter Uchenna and Chigaemezu Uzoma in the 19th and 55th minutes respectively to clinch the coveted prize of N150,000 and the trophy while Somon FC settled for the second prize of N100,000.
In the third and fourth place playoffs played on Saturday, Muo Na Eje Ije FC Nnewi defeated Morning Stars FC Nnewi to take home the sum of N70,000.
For the Under-15 category, Nnewi Youth Football Academy ran out two nil winners against Crystal FC in the final match as All Stars of Onitsha obliterated Merit FC of Nnewi by three goals to nil in the third and fourth place playoffs.
The winner, runners-up and third placed teams smiled home with cash largesse of N50,000, N30,000 and N20,000 respectively.
At the Under-13 category, Temple of God FA of Nnewi emerged champions via 5-4 penalty shootouts against All Stars FC of Onitsha after the game ended one all at the end of regulation time, No Skin Pain FC Nnewi also got the better of Christ the Way FC of Nnewi 2-1 in the third and fourth place playoffs.
The winner, runners-up and third placed team each got N30,000, N20,000 and N10,000 respectively.
In an interview with newsmen, the sponsor Chief Kenneth Maduakor stated that the passion he has for the beautiful game of football and the will to provide a platform for the youths in the state to showcase their God’s given talent is the motivation behind the competition.
“This competition has lasted for over a decade and has provided the base to churn out amazing talents some of whom are now professionals playing at the biggest level of Nigerian club football, the NPFL while others have found favour to play outside the shores of the country.
“I love football and the motivation behind this is to create a platform for our teeming youths to be discovered and brought to limelight. I must commend their performance this year which is encouraging and I won’t fail to also acknowledge the Local Organizing Committee led by Jonathan Igwe for the technical input in ensuring the success of this football programme on yearly basis,” he said.
Present during the Grand Finale were the Chairman, Nnewi North Local Football Council, Chief Steven Okonkwo (Onwa); Chairman, Senior Selected Kings (SSK) FC, Chief Chimezie Nwagwu; Chief Onyeka Nwachukwu (Akabor), other well meaning individuals, friends and well wishers of the sponsor and football fans in Nnewi and beyond.