Ghana’s Jamal beats Pope to crown

Nigerian supporters were not left out in the celebration as one of their representatives, Ineh Pope, emerged second runner-up. For his effort, the 17-year-old defensive midfielder got a Hyundai i10 saloon car, two weeks trial in a European club and ticket to watch the FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Pope’s coach, Sunday Ibrahim, described the Nigerian as a “utility player,” saying: “He is no doubt a revelation with his ability to play all positions, and he is a very good dribbler.”

According to MTN’s General Manager, Consumer Market, Kola Oyeyemi, “MTN Soccer Academy is indeed a significant platform established by the brand to discover and nurture young talents not only in Nigeria but in the whole of the African continent.”

Over 100,000 teenagers were subjected to a rigorous screening exercise in Nigeria and Ghana, which produced the 14 teammates that made it to the academy in Ghana. Participants went through four main stages of screening, which involved rigorous football assessment and interviews to test their personality, knowledge and character.

Other finalists included Daniel Opare, Raphael Okoroafor, Celestine Ehiram and Frank Antwi. Some evicted teammates, who had displayed exceptional qualities during their stay at the academy, were also rewarded.

The most disciplined teammate was Nigeria’s Hillary Okonkwo, best goal during the entire competition went to Ghana’s Rachael Ocloo and most prolific scorer award went to Celestine Ehiram of Nigeria.

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