32 teams invited for Baby Jet U-16 football championship
Eleven cadet teams from five West African countries will join 21 others from Ghana to compete for honours at the third Baby Jet U-16 African Football Tournament scheduled for the Cape Coast Stadium from June 6-13.
For the first time in the tournament’s history, teams have been drawn from Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, and Cote d’Ivoire.
This, according to the organisers, was to give young players from other countries the opportunity to showcase their talents with the hope of producing the next big star to hit Europe.
Nigerian sides Billionaires Club, Hypebuzz Football, Schmimich, and Obama Academy will be joined by Ivorian sides Pan African and Tengrela.
The Togolese sides include Labote, J.S.T. FC and AFL, with CEF EF of Burkina Faso and Kalala SC of Benin also joining.
Launching the event on Monday at the MultiChoice Ghana office, former Black Stars captain, Asamoah Gyan, could not hide his joy at giving the opportunity to the younger generation to take after him.
Gyan said the “Baby Jet U-16 Tournament”, was his way of saying thank you to Ghanaians for their support over the years and to help unearth raw talents and groom them for the big football leagues.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Asamoah Gyan Foundation, Mr. Samuel Anim Addo, said the tournament was opened to countries in the sub-regions to widen the net for talented youth footballers.
He announced a girls’ version of the tournament for this year’s edition to unearth talents for the various women’s league teams in the country.
Present at the launch were former Black Stars internationals Anthony Baffoe, Nii Odartey Lamptey, Stephen Appiah, Laryea Kingston, John Paintsil, and Emmanuel Agyemang Badu, as well as the Technical Director of the GFA, Bernard Lippert.
Dansoman-based Great Somas, who emerged champions in the maiden edition of the tournament in 2018, will be joined by 2019 champions Ofori Academy for this year’s championship.
Other teams include Attram De Visser, Corinthians, Taking Over, Shining Stars, Vision Academy, Anokye Stars, Ebony FC, NAMORO FC, Medimafo, Storm Academy, and AHOSA Academy.
The rest are Bolga Soccer Masters, Bolga All Stars, Ken Hammer, Young Generation FC, Team Move, Unicom FC, Central Region Select Side, GlowLap Academy, and Dynamo FC.
BY RAYMOND ACKUMEY