Stars Builders Academy have been crowned champions of the 2022 Ogun State Football League after claiming a hard-fought win over Motivator FC in the final.
Stars Builders, who are cup debutants, pipped Motivator FC 3-1 in the thrilling final played in front of a sizable number of fans at the Gateway International Stadium in Sagamu on Tuesday.
We are winners of the 2022 Bet9ja Ogun State League.
— Stars Builders Academy (@StarsBuildersAc) August 2, 2022
Ayomide Ayodele and Segun Otunsanya gave underdogs Stars Builders a first-half two-goal lead. Shortly after the break, Motivator FC pulled one back through a penalty, although they missed their first spot-kick before a late goal from Otunsanya sealed the win for the Builders to emerge champions.
It is the club’s maiden appearance in any competitive tournament since it was founded in 2021 and coach Gabriel Ezema was very impressed with the efforts of the boys after the game.
“I feel very excited. It is a good achievement for us being that we are debutants and good encouragement for the boys as well.” said the former Enugu Rangers assistant.
Despite having a man sent off early in the second half, striker Otunsanya and goalkeeper Favour Bala kept the team in the lead and the gaffer was full of praise for both players and the rest of the team.
“I think at that point, most importantly for us, was to stay in the game and to control the outcome of the game; because we were 2-1 up and with that we could win the game and be champions. “We just tried to stay in the game, make sure we don’t concede again in the game which we did and eventually got a goal on the counter late on”.
“I was very impressed with those individual performances and they were outstanding but other players contributed to our success in the game. I give kudos to everybody, it’s a team game and a team’s success,” he concluded.
On his part, the chairman of the club Kayode Momoh, spoke about the team’s little success in just its first year and its future plans.
“It has been an interesting journey over the past year. Definitely, this is the beginning of more things to come for Star Builders Academy. We nurture the right talents that will represent the national teams and also be able to go to Europe to do well for themselves and for the club”
“This is our first major tournament but we have been taking part in various scouting programs in the last six months and some of our players have been picked. Currently, we have one of our talents in Leganes of Spain, one will soon move to Spain as well, and recently another one was on trial at Sparta Prague (Czech Republic).
“So we have been able to identify the right talents and we are able to nurture them well, thanks to the coaches and administrators at the club who are managing the academy professionally.”
“In the long-term, we plan to have our own facility cos we are currently using a rented camp. As the fortunes of the Academy continue to blossom, we expect that we will be able to own our own. We also hope to become one of the best football academies in Nigeria and Africa as a whole” he concluded.
Following the success at the state league, the chairman and the coach said they look forward to participating in more tournaments and leagues around their base in order to groom the right talents in the next few years.