From 16 Year Old Nura Mohammed To 15 Year Old Funom Paul, Three Others – Meet The NPFL Teenagers

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Nura with LMC Chairman Alhaji Shehu Dikko

There seems to be a change in the way Nigerian clubs operate in terms of the composition of their team as most teams are now slowly toeing the line of including teenagers in their squad.

This season five players under the age of 18 have played for various teams in the Nigeria Professional Football League with recently turned 16 year old El-Kanemi Warriors Nura Mohammed, the most illustrious ‎among them.

Nura with LMC Chairman Alhaji Shehu Dikko

Nura has already played for the senior national team of Nigeria as he was a part of the B team that finished as runners-up at the recently concluded Africa Nations Championship ( CHAN) in Morocco.

Funom Paul of newly promoted Yobe Desert Stars is the youngest of them all after making his debut three weeks ago in Owerri in their 1-1 draw against Heartland at the age of 14, although he will be 15 years old in May.

Funom Paul

Plucked from Kaduna United, the winger who is still in Secondary school made his debut for the Nigeria National League side last season after finishing as the top scorer, and the Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the inter secondary school competition organised by Kaduna United.

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As many as seven first team players went on strike and young Funom who has trained just twice with the first team was drafted into the league squad of the NNL side alongside three other teenagers.

He made his debut against Yobe Stars, the team he now plays for as his pace, dribbling abilities and pin point crosses won the hierarchy of the team, and a deal was reached with his father to enrol him in a school before his transfer to the club was sanctioned.

In Kano, Nazifi Yahaya who was a part of the Nigeria U17 team of 2016 and Ibrahim Alhassan are the popular teenagers in the team. 16 year old Salisu Musa joined them in the first team and marked his debut by creating the second goal scored in their 2-0 win over MFM FC two weeks ago.

MFM FC are also not left out of the ‎among clubs handing teenagers a spot in their team with the duo of Emmanuel Onuh and Lawal Abayomi part of their first team set up even though they are yet to turn 17.

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Emmanuel Onuh
Lawal Abayomi

This current trend could mean that coach Manu Garba of the Nigeria U17 team will have some experienced teens to pick from when he assembles his next squad following his reappointment as coach of the team.

Mohammed Mowiz Suleiman writes in from Kaduna