The maiden edition of DS Football Tournament held at the Cape Coast Stadium ended with lots impressive performances from participating teams.
Cape Coast based Young Redbull FC emerged Champions with 12 points out of a possible 15 after five rounds of matches.
Primarily, the tournament was put in place to ensure the unearthing of the next generation of global stars and also to create opportunities for these players to be seen by intermediaries, scouts, coaches, clubs and other stakeholders in the global football industry via the DS Football online platform.
Six youth football teams selected from underprivileged communities in Ghana with a combined 120 young footballers participated in the round robin tournament.
Chance for Children (CFC) from La in Accra placed second with 10 points whiles Kasoa based Greenplus Soccer Academy were third with 8points.
Ex-Ghana International, Nii Ordartey Lamptey’s Glow-Lamp Soccer Academy based at Abreshia, Elmina enclave in the Central Region placed fourth with five points.
“Indeed this has been one of the best tournament by all standards. We will be glad to be part of this tournament every single year.” he said.
Despite an unimpressive fifth place finish with three points, Chairman of DC United, Ralph Gyambrah believes ‘memories of Cape Coast will continue to linger on.’
Cape Coast Strikers FC languished at the bottom of the table with two points.
Belgian club KRC Genk, one of the tournament sponsors provided camp wears and match Jerseys for all six teams.
Each team also received 10 footballs, training bibs, cones and other training equipment whiles feeding and accommodation were taken care off by organizers, DS Football.
Many of the young footballers showed quality and readiness for top level football.
DC United right back, Bennard Owusu and striker John Arthur were phenomenal whiles CFC’s left back Richmond Owusu put up an excellent outing.
Cape Coast Strikers FC duo, Charles Obeng and Adama Fawaz, were exceptional as well. Glow-Lamp Striker, Rashid Baba Sule emerged top scorer with seven goals.
DC United’s Kwabena Adu Meider was adjudged the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament whiles CFC’s Enoch Darko won the most promising player award.
Discovery of the tournament went to DC United’s 14 year old goalkeeper Bright Kyeremeh and CFC’s shot stopper, Benjamin Ago won the best goalkeeper award.
In Africa, many young footballers dream of playing to the top but their journey to greatness is often fraught with challenges such as lack of mentorship schemes. This inspired the need for a mentorship session during the nine day digital football scouting tournament.
‘I really suffered in Ghana before travelling. My parents were poor. We were living in a wooden structure, so when it rains it drips on us. By God’s Grace, I travelled to Dubai, but when we got there the agent vanished. I’m saying this because there are a lot of fake agents around, they will lie to you,’ ex Ghana International, Bernard Yao Kumordzi advised the young football athletes against fake agents as he shared his experience.
Nii Ordartey Lamptey also encouraged them to invest wisely when they become professionals
“When you are playing football, you’ll make a lot of money. A month, money that will enter your account, you’ll be shocked. If you are not smart and don’t invest well, when you finish your career, you’ll start having problems.”
For most of the players, being in Ghana’s former capital town, Cape Coast, was an opportunity to tour the Cape Coast Castle, known for its role in the transatlantic slave trade.
On their visit, they were taken through history lessons where they heard chilling stories of how slave trade began and it impact on the continent at as a whole. Visiting such a popular tourist edifice left an inedible mark on the minds of these young footballers.
The U-19 tournament, inspired by the recent rapid changes in conditions including covid 19 pandemic presented the players an opportunity to showcase their skills to stakeholders in the global football industry.
Production from the 2020 DS Football Tournament will be exclusively made available on the DS Football online scouting platform, a meeting point of renowned global football clubs, scouts, intermediaries, coaches and other stakeholders of the world’s most followed sport.
Christian Isaac Mensah, General Manager of Cape Coast Strikers FC is hopeful this innovation will positively influence scouting in Ghana.
“It’s undeniable that this model of scouting is a novelty in Ghana and we are proud to be associated with such an initiative that will change the face of scouting in Ghana.”
The DS Football online platform allows players to create profile accounts, upload their match highlight videos, full recorded games, and technical and evaluation reports for agents, coaches and clubs to digitally scout for potential transfer deals.
The uniqueness of DS Football Tournament 2020 is absolute as it cuts across the organization of a 6-Team Finals at one venue over a 9-day period with expert organizations skills, kitting, branding, accommodation, feeding, transportation and production.