Tournament players were drawn from four zones: Kano, Aba, Ibadan and Lagos. The youngsters from Ibadan demonstrated supremacy at the final, held at Agege stadium, beating Kano by 4 – 2 to clinch the trophy. A powerful strike from Bolarinwa Oluwalewa, which came in the 68th minute, sealed the victory for the Ibadan boys. Aba defeated Lagos 4 – 0 to win medal for the third place.
At the Gala night, Coach Baba Labaran, Coordinator of Pepsi Football Academy Kaduna Centre and his Jos counterpart, Mrs. Bola Ogun smiled home as they emerged the Most Outstanding Coaches of the year.
In the player category, Daniel Udukwe (Aba) and Mohammed Umar (Kano) were the Most Valuable Players in the opening match between Aba and Kano while Adegbesan Samuel (Lagos) and Sanisu Kehinde (Ibadan) won the same award in the Lagos versus Ibadan game. Adegbesan and Ndukwe clinched their second awards during the third place match between Lagos and Aba. Ugwegbu Franklin (Ibadan) and Abass Mohammed emerged the Most Valuable Players at the final.
Speaking with press men at the event, Former Coach of the Super Eagles, Chief Adegboye Onigbinde described Pepsi Football Academy as the most consistent and functional football academy in Nigeria. He said that although Nigeria had many football academies, Pepsi Academy has remained a shining light.
Head of Marketing, Seven Up Bottling Company Plc, Mr. Norden Thurston reaffirmed the commitment of the Academy to the development of football at the grassroots. He stated that the Academy will continue to create platforms such as the Pepsi Academy UK Scholarship for youngsters, to make their dreams come true.
Mr. Thurston who was represented by the Brand Manager Seven Up Bottling Company Plc, Mr. Segun Ogunleye noted that the football body is going through a reengineering process to strengthen its mode of operation across all the 14 centres in the country.