Molde FK of Norway forward, Leke Samson James, has stated that the annual Leke James invitational tournament, Kaduna which is in its third edition was aimed at giving back to the society.
Speaking at the end of the third Leke James invitational tournament on Wednesday at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna, alongside scouts from Norway and Sweden, he said, “the aim of this scouting program and tournament is to give back to the society in my own little way which has always given me joy.
“Football is a unifying factor and we had to convince these scouts to come down to Kaduna and possibly discover the next Jay Jay Okocha, Kanu Nwankwo and other talented players who have excelled in their chosen careers. This is the third edition and we look forward to a bigger and better editions moving forward.
Mr Krister Gundersen, one of the scouts based in Norway, expressed satisfaction with the quality of play but hope to see more improvement from the players in subsequent editions.
“My assessment so far is that we want to see more of the players and what they can do. We saw a few and hopefully, they can be more convincing.
“We are looking for another Leke James. When we came here last year during the 2rd Edition, a player that was picked came to Norway for trials but didn’t get a contract because he couldn’t cope with the harsh weather condition and the tempo of the game. It’s not something anyone can control, but we hope things will get better this time.”
The chairman local organising committee, (LOC), Mr Timothy Felix, thanked the media for their constant support and called on more corporate bodies to identify with the yearly event.
Leke James emerged as FK Molde highest goal scorer with 24 goals, 3 assists in 38 matches. He was second highest goal scorer in the Norway League 2 with 17 goals in 28 matches. He scored four goals in the Europa league in eight matches and three goals in twp Cup games. The Kaduna born forward also won the Eliteserien title with Molde FK in the just concluded season.
Sixteen teams drawn from various grassroots and academy clubs in Kaduna participated in the three day event which was won by MD FC. MD who defeated Mutunchi FC 3-2 on penalties after goalless full time, went home with $1,000. Mutunchi and Excellence Skills FC, who placed third, also won cash prizes.
Stig Toberson from Sweden and Udea Alfai from Nigeria are the other scouts present at the tournament.