The 2019 NPFL/LaLiga U-15 Promises Tournament reached an end on Sunday as Katsina United U-15 team claimed a 1-0 victory over Kwara United in the final at the FIFA Goal Project, National Stadium Abuja.
Sani Salihu scored the game’s only goal midway through the second half to land Katsina United the trophy won by ABS FC in Lagos in 2017, in the inaugural edition of the championship.
In the third-place match played earlier on Sunday, Delta Force defeated Sunshine Stars 1-0 courtesy of a goal from Peter Joel who was voted the most valueable player of the tournament.
Speaking to the press, Chairman of the League Management Company, LMC, Malam Shehu Dikko expressed his satisfaction with the tournament and the impact it is making on football development in the country.
“It has been three weeks of thrilling and exciting face offs between the various U15 teams at the different stages. We have noticed several talents and improvement in each team’s performance over the years.
“The U-15 promises tournament is very impactful as some of the young talents who played in the 2017 edition have started blossoming into special footballers, some are in in the current National U17 and U20 teams as well and some have gotten game time with their first team in the league this season.
“We are committed to developing football from the grassroots as we believe this will create a conveyor belt of talents for the senior teams. We’d like to thank our technical partners, LaLiga who have been supporting us on this project since its inception two years ago,” said Dikko
Also speaking at the press conference, Managing Director, LaLiga Nigeria, Javier del Río reiterated LaLiga’s commitment to football development in Nigeria.
“We are once again thrilled to have the opportunity to develop young talents across Nigeria. Since the inception of our partnership with the NPFL, we have recorded great improvements in the U15 tournament and this year, we will provide opportunities for talented players scouted from this tournament to train with LaLiga clubs in Spain and that may provide a pathway to them to turning professional later.
“This country is very passionate about football and we will continue to aid its development through our longstanding partnership with the NPFL,” added del Rio.
The NPFL-LaLiga U-15 Promises Tournament which was modelled after the LaLiga Promesas tournament in Spain was created to properly develop young talents using the LaLiga methodology and encourage NPFL Clubs to set up and maintain youth structures.