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02.02.2010 Sports News

West Cedars are Volta Coca-Cola U-17 champs

By Kofi Owusu Aduonum - Ghanaian Chronicle
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Ketu-based West Cedars put up a spirited performance to reign supreme, beating city rivals Fire FC 2-0, when the Coca Cola U-17 train stopped at the Ho Stadium in a keenly contested soccer fiesta over the weekend.

For their brilliance, the winner received GH¢400, a set of jersey as well as products from Coca-Cola. The first runner-up took home GH¢350 and Coca-Cola products, while the third-placed team received GH¢300 and Coca-Cola products. Best Player award went to Mawuli Haligah (West Cedars), with Selion FC's Julius Ankamah emerging as the discovery of the tournament.

On their way to the final, West Cedars stunned Asogli 1-0 in the semi final, while Fire FC defeated Selion FC 2-1 to book places for the grand finale.

At the 20minutes each knockout stages of the well organized competition, Serious Babies lost 0-1 to Selion, while Future Babies also lost 0-2 to Fire FC. Asogli FC went past Volta Young Eagle 2-0, with Dynamo and West Cedars sharing honours in a 2-2 thriller (Cedars won on penalties).

The first day of the Championship included the arrival of the teams from their various bases for registration.

The registration process was carried out by Coach Emmanuel Kwasi Afranie to ensure fair play and the correctness of the age of participating teams.

The day also included interviews at radio stations like Volta Star and Volta Premier, with Oti Akenteng, Coach E.K. Afranie as the Icons for the Championships as well as reps of the sponsor COCA-COLA.

Day 2 of the Championship included the opening ceremony which was graced by the Regional Minister, Mr. Amenowode and his Deputy Col. Neku and the RFA Chairman. Other dignitaries present included a representative of the Army and the Municipal Chief Executive.

The official opening ceremony was conducted by the regional Minister after parade of the Teams present. He admonished the teams to compete fairly and take advantage of the opportunity being sent their way by COCA-COLA.

He re-iterated government's commitment to developing infrastructure and also for the young players to pick the example of the Black Star team currently in Angola.

On the third day of the competition, a clinic for the technical staff of the participating team was conducted by Coaches Afranie and Oti Akenten. The coaches admitted to the exercise being worthwhile as it helped upgrade their coaching skills. The players also had a session with Frimpong Manso, who mentored them on values of possession and movement. He took them through various drills as well as offering advice as to how to succeed as a professional footballer.

The participating teams were West Cedars-Ketu, Fire FC-Keta,Volta Young Eagle, Selion FC, Asogli FC, Dynamo FC, Future Babies and Serious Babies.

Cedars joins Anokye Stars, Corners Babies and Ultimate Soccer Academy who emerged winners in the Ashanti and Easten Regions respectively for the final showdown in Accra this year.

The Coca-Cola train stops at the Tema Stadium for the next edition.

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