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The football talent hunt competition gets underway in the Benue State capital

The much anticipated 2012 Gulder 5 A-Side Football competition got underway on Friday morning in Makurdi as more than a hundred teams showed up at the Kingdom Comprehensive College playing pitch, Abu King Shuluwa Road, on Friday morning.

Young men from all over the north central states have made their way to the city of Makurdi in hopes of achieving fame and fortune in the multi-million naira competition.

First time entrant Kelvin Nwasike of Gidan Bege FC, Makurdi, told Goal.com that his team is prepared to face all odds to win the Makurdi leg of the tournament. "We're here to go all the way. We want to win the competition," said Nwasike.

Returnee players are also hopeful of greater performance in the tournament. "We're hoping that this year we will make it to the finals again after playing in the previous Abuja and Lagos finals," said Felix Tsavka of Raymond King Soccer Academy, Makurdi.

Kabiri Chimnoya of Mastersports said that the teams will go through an accreditation process this morning before the tournament commences.

"We will check their medical certificates to ascertain their state of health and then we will check the players' names on our list while they also produce 40 cans of Gulder in order to be entered for competition," said Chimnoya.

Gulder has positioned a strong medical team on ground that will ensure the safety of all participants.

"We require that players bring medical fitness certificates from government-recognised hospitals in order to ensure safety for all our players," said Mrs Ann Uroh, head industrial nurse Ama, Enugu.

The tournament is in its third year and has produced players that are being positioned to play for the country's national Futsal team.

"The platform that Gulder is offering is to celebrate youth and that is why we're bringing young people together to challenge for football glory," said Anjou Omotolani, Gulder sales team manager, Makurdi.

The Makurdi leg of the competition is the first zonal qualifiers that will produce two teams to compete in the knockout event in Lagos next month. The winning prize for this year's competition is five million naira.

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