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Football | Nigeria

NPL discards youth league



SuperSport.com can reveal that the Nigeria Premier League has discarded the youth league which was initially proposed two years ago to develop youngsters.

Back in 2010, the youth league was proposed as a system that will assist club develop youngsters who would grow through the ranks to become first team players.

The 20 NPL clubs were to present Under17 teams, which would compete at zonal levels before converging on Abuja for the finals of the "NPL Youth Cup."

Executive Secretary of the NPL, Tunji Babalola, told SuperSport.com that the recurrent crisis in the league has affected the implementation of the youth league.

"We're trying to resolve several issues at the same time.

"The league has just reached the half-way mark in April and our concern is how to ensure it ends in good time," Babalola said to SuperSport.com.

Investigation conducted by SuperSport.com reveal that only a few clubs have what could pass as youth teams.

Over the years, Enyimba and Enugu Rangers invested in youngsters who graduated into the NPL stars.

Enyimba captain, Josiah Maduabuchi and his teammate, Uche Kalu are products of the Enyimba feeder team.

Former Junior international, Nduka Ozokwor, who is now based in Turkey, started his football development in the Rangers youth side.

In other leagues, clubs are mandated to develop youth teams or reserve teams which eventually form the foundation for developing youngsters.

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