16 year-old Lawal Abayomi of MFM FC became the youngest player ever to play in the CAF Champions League on Wednesday, when he was introduced in the 55th minute against Real Bamako at the Agege Soccer Temple.
The young lad who was drafted into the first team from MFM’s U15 team last season, thanked coach Fidelis Ilechukwu for the opportunity given to him.
“I feel very excited and very happy,” he said on his Champions League debut.
The moment Lawal stepped on the pitch, his movement, use of the ball and team play immediately endeared him to the fans at the Agege Soccer Temple. He had so much confidence oozing out of him and he acknowledged he owes part of it to the coach.
“I know I can do it so I have the confidence in me and the coach gives me confidence too.
“He has always been believing in me and I’ve played a few games too so I always believe I can do it,” he said.
In his 35 minutes on the pitch, it was clear for all to see that Lawal is a promising young lad. It’s no surprise he was on hand to provide the pin point cross which Chijioke Akuneto converted to win the game for MFM.
In the end, we have to say it was a win-win situation for everyone; the player, the fans and the coach who according to Abayomi, told him to go showcase himself just before introducing him.
Abayomi’s mum, Mrs Lawal who was also at the Stadium to watch her son play did have certain things to say. According to her, there were times he would leave school to go play football.
“That time, I was annoyed because I wanted him to finish his SS3 first. So immediately he finished, I allowed him and I’m very proud of him now.”
Finally she adviced parents who try to stop their kids from playing football saying: “They should not disturb them o, they should keep encouraging them.”