Archive for the ‘Latest News’ category

Sani Emmanuel: We Can Go All The Way In Columbia 2011

August 2, 2011

A report from Nigerian Newspaper This Day concerning My People FC’s Sani Emmanuel, currently featuring for Nigeria’s Flying Eagles at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Columbia:

One of the top stars of Nigeria’s silver performance at the 2009 FIFA Under17 World Cup was Sani Emmanuel. Emmanuel was the striker that sported the number 14 jersey in that tournament; the super sub that was pulling Nigeria out of difficult situations in almost all the matches. He ended up scoring five goals in just his 221 minutes of play to win the FIFA U-17 Adidas Golden Ball as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player and also won the Adidas Silver Shoe as the second highest goal scorer of the championship!

Like all the top-notch players of the Under-17 team, the new coach of the Under 20 team; the Flying Eagles, John Obuh, on his promotion from the Under-17 team, graduated Emmanuel to his new level. Emmanuel is now with him in Colombia on the team’s expedition at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup Finals. In the opening match of the team against Guatemala on Sunday, he came on as a second half substitute and had a memorable match in the team’s 5-0 annihilation of the North American side.

Emmanuel reviews here his life in the game, his beginning and his hopes.

“My father did not support me when I started playing football. In fact I was not even living with my parents. I was actually leaving with friends because we were very poor. I shunned school for football because that was the only thing after my heart and the only thing that brought me success and happiness. I had no other desire in my heart than play football. The other sport I love is table tennis and I think I would have been successful at that sport if had not taken to football. However, I must say my nomenclature in the game started changing for the better after the ‘Man of God and my father in the Lord’, Prophet T.B Joshua, discovered me and begun showing interest in my sporting career. His efforts since have helped to propel me to where I am today. I will therefore be forever grateful to him. He was instrumental to all the trials I attended before my friend Onazi (Ogenyi), and I, got our contracts with SS Lazio of Italy.

Sani Emmanuel

Sani Emmanuel in Camp at Columbia

“After the last U-17 World Cup, I continued to train the usual way I do – hard and regularly. I also went to several trials with clubs. One of the clubs I had trials with; together with my bosom friend Onazi Ogenyi was Lazio in Italy. Luckily, we faired well at that trial and were offered contracts.

“We were both not at the Africa Youth Championship that took place in South Africa because the letter of invitation go to us very late. And when it arrived, it was in the middle of an important period as far as matches were concerned, for the club. Although I wanted so much to play in the tournament but it wasn’t possible so I would say I really missed it. It was a chance to add something to my collection of silverware, but it did not come to be. So I would say not taking part in the South Africa expedition was my loss.

“I was only able to see the opening and the final matches of Nigeria at the African Championship on teevee. So, I cannot say now how tough the team had it or how easy at the tournament. But from the two matches, I knew the Under-20 team were as good as the Under-17 team that got to the world final in Abuja. However now, that was then and this is Colombia and we have to work hard to emulate the old success.

“After the kind of preparation we had coming here to Colombia, I am full of confidence that we can go all the way. As for me personally, I have been training very hard to be in good shape and very fit for the tournament. I am sure I will be making the team and that every time I play, I will not disappoint both the coach and myself. Well, if I must add, I hope will are there on the final day, lifting up the cup.

“I am happy to have been offered a good contract at Lazio. We all know the Serie A is one of the top three leagues of the world in both toughness and talent. I shouldn’t feel any loneliness at Lazio as I have lots of people that would help to make my time here memorable. For instance, there were four Nigerians in the team, with only Ayodele Makinwa playing in the first team. But Makinwa has now gone on loan so we have three Nigerians left three left in the club while the third person is Emeka. But with the way things are going now I believe at least two of us will graduate to the first team by the start of the 2011-2012 season.

“Before Lazio offered me a contract, I had trials in London with Jon Obi Mikel’s Chelsea and with Tottenham Hotspur. I also had trals with Young Boys of Switzerland and Panathinaikos of Greece.

“Some people have expressed their surprise that it took me so long to get a club. But I must say when you team up with the Man of God at the Synagogue (Prophet T.B Joshua), you have a special person behind you. He not only wanted the best for us but what he told Onazi and I was that he wanted us to feel the European style, experience it well before we lace up professionally for any club. So, the original object was not for us to just get a club in Europe, but to first experience it and know how it works. In this, he was ready to fund the waiting period and our learning curve. He has been wonderful to us. Now, finally we have a contract with a big club.

“I hope by the grace of God that I will be able to break into the first team this season. Everyone at the club is waiting for the coach to name his first team squad. The good thing is that Onazi and I have been training with the first team. I sincerely hope we make the grade at the end of the day. Everyone knows how good the Italian league is and that to make the grade into the first team of a Serie A club, one has to be good and then work hard. We are training hard to make it.”

SOURCE: This Day

My People FC Stars For FIFA U-20 World Cup

July 5, 2011

Two of My People FC’s players, Sani Emmanuel and Ogenyi Onazi, have taken giant leaps forward in their careers ever since their impressive performances at the FIFA U-17 World Cup. The duo have now been picked for the provisional Nigerian squad for the FIFA U-20 World Cup which is due to be held at the end of July in Colombia, following their successful signing by Italian giants Lazio.

To God be the glory!

Here is a news article relating to their inclusion in the squad:

Obuh’s Eaglets dominate provisional World Cup list
Ahead of the upcoming FIFA Under-20 World Cup, Flying Eagles handler, John Obuh looks set to bank on the services of former members of the Nigerian Under-17 side that finished second at the last edition of the cadets World Cup.

Obuh was in charge of the Nigerian team which lost to Switzerland in the final match of the Under-17 World Cup hosted two years ago by Nigeria and will be in charge of the Nigerian U-20 side at the World Cup to be hosted by Colombia.

In Colombia, the Flying Eagles will compete out of Group D alongside Croatia, Saudi Arabia and Guatemala.

However, the tournament doesn’t get underway until the end of July amd Obuh looks set to call upon the services of his trusted lads from two years ago after including as many as 12 of them in his provisional 30-man list for the tournament.

They are led by Lazio of Italy’s Sani Emmanuel, who finished as the most valuable player of the last U-17 World Cup. Another former Golden Eaglets star, Eddy Onazi, who also plays for the Italian Serie A side, also made Obuh’s provisional squad list for the World Cup.

Onazi

My People FC's Ogenyi Onazi scores a blistering goal while in action for SS Lazio

Others are Danjuma Paul, Olanrewaju Kayode, Edafe Egbedi, Abdul Jeleel Ajagun, Terry Envoh, Mohammed Aliyu, Omoh Ojabu and Kenneth Omeruo.

There’s also room in the squad for the duo of team captain Ramon Azeez and Stanley Okoro who are both on the books of Spanish La Liga side, Almeria who will now play in the Spanish second division following their recent relegation from the top flight.

The Flying Eagles qualified for the World Cup by virtue of their first place finish at this year’s African Youth Championships in South Africa and Obuh has included 17 members of that team in his provisional World Cup list including Ahmed Musa who only got to play in the opening day 2-1 win over Ghana.

The VVV Venlo of Holland star was thereafter recalled to his Dutch club and played no further part in the Flying Eagles’ successful march to the trophy.

But having already gathered more than a handful of caps with the Nigerian senior national side, Musa looks certain to make the final list for Colombia where his experience will come in handy as Nigeria seeks a historic title at Under-20 level.

SOURCE: Next

CAF YOUNG AFRICAN PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2009

December 5, 2009

For My People FC’s Sani Emmanuel, the best is definitely yet to come!!

The young African player of the year is an award presented by CAF to the most talented African footballer who is yet to clock 23. In scope, the award covers all African footballers, whether professional or amateur, who have had the opportunity to showcase their talents to the world.

The trend observed in the past shows that no player has ever won the award after emerging the best player at any age group competition. The closest observed so far was John Obi Mikel who won the award on the back of his performance at the U-17 world cup in Finland in 2005.

Sani Emmanuel

Sani Emmanuel of My People FC

In the year 2009 alone, young African players have showcased their talents to the world again; winning the MVP awards at both the U-20 and the U-17 competitions. It is expected that one of these will win the award for the young African player of the year 2009.

Dominic Adiyiah:
Dominic Adiyiah was a member of the Black Satellite’s team that conquered the world at the U20 level. He scored a total of Eight (8) goals and was awarded the Golden Ball as well as the Golden Shoe. He has since moved from Fredrikstad FK to A.C. Milan.

Sani Emmanuel:
Sani Emmanuel was a member of the Super Eaglets team that lost the final match of the U17 world cup to Switzerland. He scored a total of five (5) goals in a remarkable 221 minutes of play and was awarded the Silver Shoe as well as the Golden Ball. There have been rumours of several European football clubs hoping to acquire his services. Sani Emmanuel is known to celebrate his goals by going down on his knees to thank God. At a young age of 16, he has promised to establish a foundation that will give other footballers the opportunity to succeed.

Alexander Song:
Alex Song is a member of the Cameroonian team. A formidable midfielder who has imposed himself into Arsene Wenger’s young Arsenal team thanks to his consistent performance. He has matured into a reliable defensive midfielder who can also play as a central defender. He is a niece of the Cameroonian legend Rigobert Song.

John Obi Mikel:
John Obi Mikel is a regular member of the Nigerian Super Eagles’ team. A defensive midfielder who has effectively combined with Michael Essien to fill the void left by Claude Makelele. He won the award in 2005. He led played a prominent role in Nigeria’s last minute qualification for the 2010 world cup.

Other notable names are:
Dede Ayew
Ramon Azeez
Ransford Osei
Emmanuel Agyeman-Badu

SOURCE: Accra Mail

U-17 World Cup: Sani Emmanuel Shines Again, Wrecks Spain

November 14, 2009

History in the making! My People FC’s Sani Emmanuel has netted 5 goals in a stunning 144 minutes, his brace against Spain taking Nigeria into the FIFA U-17 World Cup Final!!

Nigeria defeated Spain 3-1 in yesterday’s semi final match of the 13th FIFA Under-17 World Cup, but the two goals from My People Academy’s forward, Sani Emmanuel were all that the Golden Eaglets needed to book a place in the final.

Emmanuel, who has been an altar boy at The Synagogue Church of All Nations for many years, wrecked the U-17 team of Spain. His goals came after Stanley Okoro’s first goal while Borjan scored Spain’s only goal.

Sani Emmanuel

Sani Emmanuel celebrates with his team-mates after scoring against Spain!

The youngster electrified the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos immediately he was introduced into the match. He was a thorn in the flesh of the Spaniards with his blistering runs and ball control, which earned him two goals in the match, watched by a capacity crowd.

Emmanuel, who was introduced into the match in the 48th minute began to do damage to their opponents barely 23 minutes later. He scored a brace to take his goal haul in the competition to five, making him a joint top scorer with two other players from Uruguay and Spain.

The player, who was literally raised in the Synagogue, owned by Prophet T.B Joshua, has been described as the hottest super-sub of the ongoing competition.

Eaglets coach, John Obuh says Emmanuel has been very instrumental to his team’s success at the Nigeria 2009 World Cup. “Emmanuel has become my joker and he’s playing to instruction,” Obuh said.

Apart from the praises he has received from his people back in Ikotun, it was a carnival-like atmosphere as the worshippers celebrated the performance of one of their own till late yesterday. An elated Joshua, said: “I’m happy for Emmanuel. When I noticed he’ll be a great footballer, I sent him to Sweden and registered him in my academy, My People F.C. So, I’m glad he’s making progress and the young boy will go places.”

Obuh has assured that his wards would be ready for their final match against Switzerland at the Abuja Stadium on Sunday.

Obuh, the former Kwara United coach said he was impressed with his team’s performance and disclosed that he would make some changes in the team to be battle-ready for Sunday’s clash.

Sani Emmanuel

Sani Emmanuel - one with a difference

“I’m really delighted that my players rose to the occasion; they played to instructions and I’m happy that we would play in the finals. It is a good thing that though we started slowly, we were able to put back smiles on the faces of Nigerians.”

On his expectations and what he knows about the European newcomers, Obuh says he knows little about them. But he believes with the right attitude and approach to the match, his team would retain the trophy in Nigeria.

He added that he is aware the Swiss are a very mobile side, but will get a strong team to beat them.

“I know them as a team that have qualified for the final. By the time we meet in Abuja on Sunday, we would get the better of them and win again for Nigeria.”

SOURCE: The PM News

Sani Emmanuel Nominated For African Footballer Of The Week By MTN!!

November 3, 2009

My People FC’s Sani Emmanuel has been nominated as one of the five African footballers of the week by MTN Football following his blistering performance against Argentina for Nigeria’s cadet team, the Golden Eaglets. Emmanuel scored the winner for Nigeria, a goal that saw the Eaglets soar through to the next round of the ongoing FIFA U-17 World Cup at the top of their group.

Sani Emmanuel

My People FC's Sani Emmanuel - nominated for African player of the week

As can be seen on the MTN Footballl website, the five players nominated are:

Obafemi Martins
Martins had been on something of a goal-drought having scored just once in nine matches for the German champions Wolfsburg, but hit back with a brace against Mainz on Saturday. It was still not enough for his side to win, as they conceded an equaliser in the last three minutes to end the day at 3-3.

Bobo Balde
Veteran Guinea defender Bobo Balde made his first Ligue 1 start for Valenciennes on Saturday and put in a Man of the Match performance as his side claimed an excellent 3-0 away win at Stade Rennes. Balde spent the previous eight seasons at Glasgow Celtic in Scotland, though the weekend’s start was his first competitive club fixture since May last year, and just his second appearance in total.

Aruna Dindae
No English Premiership goals in five games for Cote d’Ivoire striker Aruna Dindane had many wondering whether Portsmouth boss Paul Hart had done the right thing in bringing him to the Fratton Park strugglers. But the Ivorian hit back in spectacular style with a hat-trick, the last a penalty which he earned, as Pompey finally won at home in the League with a 4-0 thumping of Wigan Athletic.

Jean Makoun
The Cameroon international midfielder won rave reviews for his performance in the 1-0 away win at Saint Etienne on Saturday, earning a place in the Team of the Week from respected French publication L’Equipe.

Sani Emmanuel
The substitute held his nerve to score from the penalty-spot as the hosts Nigerians claimed a crucial win over Argentina at the 2009 FIFA Under-17 World Cup on Friday. Having earlier missed a good chance to seal the game for his side, Emmanuel was a picture of calmness as he stroked home the vital spot-kick to put his side into the Last 16.

You can make your vote for Emmanuel on the MTN Football Website!

With Nigerias next encounter against New Zealand scheduled to take place on Thursday, people are expectant that Emmanuel will once again be on the field and get his name on the scoresheet…!

My People FC’s Sani Emmanuel Nets Winner For Eaglets

October 31, 2009

My People FC’s Sani Emmanuel grabbed a late winner for Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets in their tough match with Argentina on Friday. It was a perfect penalty kick! Africa News reports…

Local supporters witnessed a hard-fought victory at the Tafawa Balewa Stadium in Bauchi as Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets came from an early goal down to earn an impressive win against their Argentine counterparts…

With Argentina already assured of a place in the next round of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, the onus was on Nigeria to build on their victory against Honduras and guarantee their place in the knock-out stages. Honduras and Germany playing simultaneously in Abuja, Friday saw the final matches of Group A, billed by local media as ‘The Group of Death’.

John Obuh

John Obuh - Coach of Golden Eaglets

In an action-packed opening, the South Americans took a mere two minutes to start the scoring when Esteban Orfano wove through a crowded Nigerian defence to fire deftly past a hapless Dami Paul. Three minutes later however, the hosts defiantly responded as Terry Envoh’s corner nicely fell for Omoh Ojabu to stab home from close range, levelling the scores.

Playing at a slower pace induced by the humid Bauchi climate, both sides had chances to increase their lead in the first half, the closest falling to Eaglets substitute Sani Emmanuel, whose rebound shot went agonisingly over the bar from eight yards out.

The results remaining even at half time, the Argentineans seemed content to play for a draw as the second half kicked off with the Eaglets providing most of the attacking impetus. A steady stint of Nigerian pressure finally paid off in the 72nd minute when substitute Lanre Kayode was brought down inside the 18-yard box by Federico Rasmussen. With Nigeria’s Stanley Okoro substituted moments earlier following a disappointing performance, Sani Emmanuel stepped up to coolly fire home an almost perfect penalty, sending the local fans into ecstatic celebrations.

Sani Emmanuel

My People FC's Sani Emmanuel In Action

With 15 minutes remaining, the Argentineans began to pile on pressure in search of an equaliser, but were unable to penetrate the solid Nigerian defence, the Eaglets holding on to secure a deserved victory. 2-1 was the final score, the result leaving Nigeria on top of group A with 7 points, followed by Argentina with 6. Germany, who recorded an easy 3-1 victory against Honduras, will be left to hope their efforts are enough to secure a slot as one of the four lucky losers to progress to the next rounds.

With more impressive performances from Eaglets midfielders Abdul Ajagun and Ramon Azeez, as well as striker Sani Emmanuel who plies his trade with Pastor TB Joshua’s ‘My People FC,’ Coach John Obuh can be confident that his boys are waxing stronger as the tournament progresses to the final stages.

SOURCE: Africa News, Modern Ghana

TWO FROM MY PEOPLE FC TO FEATURE FOR THE GOLDEN EAGLETS!

October 24, 2009

This blog may have been quiet for some time. But preparation has been going on down under for the big day, the d-day and that is TODAY, Saturday 24th October 2009. Today marks the start of the FIFA Under 17 World Cup hosted in our country, Nigeria. The Eaglets are set to play against Germany in front of a 60,000 sell out crowd at the Abuja National Stadium.

Abuja National Stadium

Abuja National Stadium

Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets seek to be the 2nd nation in history to defend their title back-to-back and we believe that the selected squad are more than equal to the task. Nigerians world over have experienced heartbreak during the Super Eagles qualifying matches, with the hope for World Cup Qualification hanging on a thin thread depending on the performance of other nations. They experienced bitterness and disappointment at the Flying Eagles display in Egypt – the giant of Africa not establishing itself at all, barely scraping through the 1st round and then crashing out to Germany in the 2nd.

This is it. This is the opportunity for Nigeria to put firmly itself back on the map when it comes to football on this planet.

Knowing that football is not just about hard work and tactics but also the need for favour and grace from above, the Eaglets coach, John Obuh took his whole team to visit TB Joshua for prayers. The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations was their first landing place after the team disembarked from their journey to Qatar for training and practise matches.

Emmanuel Sani

Emmanuel Sani - number 14 for the Eaglets

Onazi Ogenyi, number 4 for the Eaglets

Onazi Ogenyi, number 4 for the Eaglets

Two of the 21 players selected to represent Nigeria this time around are from My People FC. Midfielder Onazi Ogenyi and Striker Emmanuel Sani are among the players that TB Joshua sponsored to Sweden tomplay professional football with Bodens BK. They spent some months there and returned home to Nigerian soil to represent their country in the World Cup.

Let’s all keep praying and support our boys to fly higher, making Nigeria and Africa as a whole, proud.