Outstanding youngsters win awards as Cowbell Football Camp ends amid fanfare

The three-week Cowbell Soccer Academy 2017 Summer Camp ended in grand style over the weekend at the main bowl of the National Stadium, Surulere Lagos.

Over 150 youngsters with interest in football enjoyed the three-week experience that saw the Academy coaches, as well as several ex-internationals, come around to teach various aspects of the game.

Some of the ex-internationals that came around for the 2017 Summer camp included Segun Odegbami, Johnathan Akpoborie, Franklin Howard and ex-Barcelona star Gbenga Okunowo, who played an exhibition match with the children on Saturday.

Omo Iyere, winner of the Muda Lawal Prize for Most Hardworking Participant being congratulated by Tony Urhobo, former national athletics coach. With them is Godwin Dudu-Orumen, Rector of Cowbell Football Academy

Godwin Dudu-Orumen, Rector of the Cowbell Football Academy and a former member of the Technical Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said he was particularly elated with the increased turnout as well as the total support received from Promassidor, makers of Cowbell, this year.

Former FC Barcelona and Super Eaglers star, Gbenga Okunowo, presenting award the award of best junior player to Tonye Bangshain

“It has been another interesting summer camp which keeps improving each year, I am very excited with the turnout and the number of talents on display. There were really some outstanding talents that you would not expect in a summer camp, which is majorly to keep the children fit.” He said.

Obiorah Ogbonna, recipient of the Rector’s prize being congratulated by an official

One of such talents on display was Ifeyimika Awoyemi who is set to undergo trials with some English clubs.

Ifeyimika Awoyemi, one of the outstanding talents at the summer camp is on his way to England for trials with Wickham Wanderers in League Two and QPR in Championship

The youngster who plays on the left wing said he learnt a lot during the summer camp and would put the knowledge to use during his trials.

Winners in the U-10 category in a group photo

“It has been very enjoyable. I will give a score of 9 out of 10. It’s been good, I mean if you love football, you will enjoy playing every day; Monday to Saturday for three weeks. It is fun and you will learn a lot over the three weeks as well; every day you learn something new” he said

Awoyemi is understood to be going for trials in England with Wickham Wanderers in League Two and QPR in Championship.

Also, Fara Sowole one of the female participants was also elated on how she has been able to improve on herself through this year’s summer camp.

“The things I have enjoyed about Cowbell is the atmosphere, the way that everyone is friendly. The coaches are nice. The routines are nice. The games are very competitive but the tactics are good.

“I really want to play football professionally. I have been playing football since Primary two, I learnt it from my brother at home (and brother was in the academy too).” She said.

During the climax of the summer camp on Saturday, several top shots from Promassidor were in attendance and prizes were given to outstanding participants.

Some of the award winners include Omo Iyere who won the Muda Lawal Prize for the most hardworking participant.

The Stephen Keshi Leadership Prize for outstanding Leadership qualities was won by Oprah Ogbonna.

The Rashidi Yekini Prize for the most improved participant was given to Obiorah Ogbonna while the Rector’s Prize for Consistency was won by Edex who outside doing well on the pitch recorded excellent results in the last WAEC exams including an A1 in mathematics.

Tonye Bangshain was voted at the Best Junior Player of the Summer camp as Daniel Thomas got the Head Coach’s prize of the best-behaved participant.

While praising this year’s award winners especially Edex who encapsulated the mission of the Cowbell Soccer Academy which is to produce good football players with sound academic knowledge, Dudu-Orumen said it will be nice to have more people come on board.

“We had three awards this year, the Stephen Keshi, Muda Lawal and Rashid Yekini Award. We expect more people to be part of this going forward so we can immortalize other great legends in the minds of the children and keep their memories alive,” he stated.