By Tobolos O.
As the anticipation for the coming of the Prof. Abiola Ojo Sports Festival a.k.a. LSS Games (analogous to the hype for Batman vs Superman) comes to a fever pitch, it is only apropos that gossip, conjecture and speculation as to what class would win this year’s football competition begin to engulf the atmosphere of the Faculty of Law corridors and staircases..
. The rivalries have been established, the bragging started since last year and there is the crown that everyone is keen on seizing. The fact that this year’s competition would be in league format, along with other permutations, tees this year’s competition up to be a very juicy and entertaining affair.
That being said, let us highlight this year’s participants:-
CLASS OF ‘15 – The Champions
Key Players:- Bidemi, Idris, Nife, Lex
Strength:- Strength, Height, Coordination
Weakness:- Speed, Agility
What?!? How?!?! No Way!!,; There is still a lot of shock and astonishment in the minds of some people as to how year 5 emerged as last year’s victors, yet some say that it is no surprise at all. The red jersey clad team lifted last year’s trophy, scoring only 1 goal throughout the entire competition and their uncanny yet very presidential defence which consists of nearly all of the faculty’s presidents, namely- Tobi (Tax Club), Jibola (Oil & Gas), and of course Cornel (LSS), ensured that they did not conceded a single goal throughout the competition, also with the help of Mr. Kastrow in between the sticks.
But when one looks closely, one would see that although they may not be the best team in terms of individual talent, but Coach Tofola utilized the best of what they had and saw to it that they emerged victorious. The strength of this team lies in their spine, right from Goalkeeper (Kastrow), Centre Back (Nife), Midfield (Idris a.k.a Alonso) and of course the potent danger up front that is their captain- Bidemi a.k.a Skenks, who all coordinate their respective areas of the pitch, and are arguably the best in the faculty in those positions. Skenks’ speed, skill and hunger to win, Alonso’s tackling and reading of the game, Lex calmness and maturity and of course Nife’s pivotal coordination of the defence, all contribute immensely to their success.
Although they may not be as fit as last year, and may be more preoccupied with things such as their projects or preparation for law school, they certainly cannot be ignored, and others best be wary of the defending champions.
CLASS ’16- The Ones To Beat
Key Players:- Idris Alooma, Yemi, Jide, Nte
Strength:- Passing, Speed, Aerial
Weakness:- Stamina, Agility
Drum roll please.….it is by no mistake that this class has been dubbed “the ones to beat”. Why you ask? Well that it is because they are arguably the team with the most blessed squad within the faculty. Pacy wingers like Roqeeb and Jones, Rocklike defenders like Nte, Machinelike midfielders like Yemi and Laolu, skill and flair produced by Alooma, we could go on and on. The 2013 champions were only knocked out last year on penalties, and would most likely be coming back this year with a serious score to settle.
Ah but wait, that can’t be all? I mean a lion could be extremely muscular and have a mane the size of a giant piece of candy floss, but if it cannot devour its enemy, it is useless, right? What I’m trying to say is that every big animal needs a bite, and ladies and gentlemen in this case, that bite is none other than Jide Williams (PW). Ah he certainly doesn’t look like it, I know, but he is undoubtedly the best centre forward in the faculty. With a keen eye for goal, and ruthless killer instincts, Jide who in fact scored the goal of the tournament last year, is the reason why the Class of ’16 can play badly and still grind out a win. The fact that he has one of the best players in the faculty in the form of Alooma, also cannot be played down.
Bearing in mind that this year’s competition will be in the format of a league competition, the 400 level students arguably have an upper hand, seeing as they could actually field a second XI. Teams would be wise to tread with caution, as the ex-champions are certainly bloodthirsty.
CLASS OF ’17: Something To Prove
Coach :- Soso
Key Players:- John Tobi, Qasim, Dennis, Tobolos
Strength:- Agility, Creativity, Wing Play
Weakness:- Concentration, Aerial, Chance Conversion
This team has a lot of spunk and belief. They think big and talk big, yet they are yet to win an LSS Games match. This is why they are the team with “something to prove”. They have played 4 LSS Games matches, have scored 2 goals, conceded 4 and have never qualified from the group stages. That is a terrible record right? Yes it is, but yet they cannot and have not been written off by anybody, and are in the minds of all competitors going into the competition. Why??
This is possibly the most dangerous team to play. The number of chances they create per game is astonishing. The fluidity they posses in midfield and attack is enviable to say the least. With a boatload of wingers like Seyi, Posi and Martins; dangerous attacking midfielders like Peter; Tobolos, who has a good shot on him; John Tobi, the left footed captain who when needed calms or alternatively fires up his team at will and of course Dennis who is the most reliable player you can find anywhere. They are not to be toyed with.
But the biggest weapon in their arsenal, is their midfield maestro, their number 10, the lightskinned football talisman who also happens to be the LSS Sports Secretary. His passing, shooting, ability to read games and calm demeanor make him the king of the midfield everytime he steps unto the pitch. Yes, Qasim Ogunjimi’s importance to his team is “not a joking stuvvs”.
Their achiles heel is their penchant to miss open chances, and concurrently give away silly goals which lead to their downfall. Coach Soso certainly has a lot of work to do if he is to ensure that they are to be crowned champions.
CLASS OF ’18: Underdogs
Key Players: Russell, Valentine, Kay
Strength: Speed, Strength, Skill
It would be foolhardy to say that the Class of 18’ are the favourites to win the competition, yet it would be equally asinine to say that they don’t stand a chance. This is why they are the “underdogs”. They just merged with the diploma intakes, they haven’t gotten their rhythm yet etc. All these points are valid, but the fact is that it wouldn’t be too surprising if they were to lift the trophy at the end of the day.
They are the only squad with two very good goalkeepers; athletic and acrobatic Ivan, and mature and game reading Bishop; They have Russell, who is probably the closest thing that the faculty has to Jesus Navas or Theo Walcott; They have Valentine who bosses the midfield, bullies his opponents and has more physical presence than a sumo wrestler in a ballet school. They also have a decent midfield and okay wingers.
But the biggest weapon in their arsenal, their bazooka as it were, is the dimuinitive yet very dangerous Kay. His calmness, ability to move the ball, ball control, passing, skill, amongst an array of other skills, has got people arguing that he is the best footballer in the faculty. No wonder some people refer to him as “Iniesta”. It wouldn’t be too surprising if you say you have not heard about or noticed him yet, but we assure you, that you will once the competition is over.
What they may lack is a killer striker who can always be relied for goals, coordination, team chemistry and a developed philosophy and formation, but regardless of this, they still cannot be approached without caution.
CLASS OF ’19: The Rookies
Key Players: Lawrence,
Seeing as this the first time that the Class of ’19 would participate in the Prof Abiola Ojo Sports Festival, it should not require much explanation as to why they have been dubbed “the rookies”.
Ah yes, the freshmen, the new kids on the block. It is an age long tradition that the Year 1 team in each installment of the LSS Games is unable to advance from the group stages. The reason is not farfetched; this is their first time ever. They’re just knowing each other, they haven’t figured out what positions are best for whom, any talk of team chemistry is a red herring etc. These are the rhetoric that are in place when talking about the rookies to the competition.
This year’s freshmen, are not exactly like the res though. They have a vociferous and talented captain in the form of Lawrence, they also have , who featured during the LSS 5 A- Side- Competition, and showed how dangerous he can be.
Although they may have lost 2-1 in the novelty match against the faculty team, and 4-2 in a friendly against the class of ’17, they have put in good performances, and although it is very unlikely that win the competition, it isn’t impossible that they replicate feats similar to those of Costa Rica in the 2014 FIFA WORLD CUP.