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Edmonton Leone Stars crowned soccer league champions in Canada

23 October 2009 at 01:05 | 604 views

By Abayomi Charles Roberts, PV General Editor, in Edmonton, Canada .

Sierra Leone’s soccer ambassadors in Edmonton, Canada, were on Saturday October 17 crowned Division 3B Outdoor League Champions for the 2009 season, by the Edmonton and District Soccer Association (EDSA). Edmonton Leone Stars, having finished first in their eight-team pool, have been promoted. They will play in the much tougher Division Two next summer.

The ceremony, hosted by EDSA, took place at the ultra-modern Shaw Conference Centre in downtown Edmonton. Some 56 trophies were handed out to teams in men and women categories; in diverse divisions, tiers and pools. Among patrons were team supporters, families and friends of players and officials, and representatives of the key sponsors of the outdoor EDSA games. Notable sponsors are business concerns like Adidas, Pizza 73, Docks Bar and Grill, Rehab Dance Club and United Cycle.

Team captain and deft defender, Kelvin Kamara, received the Pizza 73 trophy on behalf of Leone Stars. At the stage, Kelvin was flanked by Messrs Foday Samura and Amidu Kamara, the team manager and head coach respectively. Mr. Dale Anderson presented the coveted trophy on behalf of sponsors Pizza 73.

This year, 2009, marks the centennial of EDSA which was founded in Edmonton, Canada, in 1909. Save for understandable obstacles brought by the two world wars (1914-1918, 1939-1945), EDSA has been growing steadily in both size, scope and diversity. A video screened that Saturday evening traced the organization’s 100-year history, spiced with telling billboard photographs and slide shows. There was also a raffle draw as a side attraction.

At the banquet. PV’s Abayomi Charles Roberts is in the blue shirt.

If there had been 100 lighted candles – for EDSA to blow out in birthday tradition – one of those candles could easily have been coloured green-white-and-blue, Sierra Leone’s national colours. It is no big deal; there are other teams in the EDSA fold which suggest the heritage of the owners and and or players and team officials. There are Chile, Inter Milan Athletics, Lone Star (Liberia), Venezuela, Dinamo Croatia, SS Napoli (Italy) and Portugas FC, to cite a few.

Edmonton Leone Stars receiving the trophy

Head Coach Amidu Kamara, elegantly dressed in an evening suit, expressed delight and pride. “We did it!...and at this historic milestone of EDSA,’ he boasted to The Patriotic Vanguard after the ceremony “ this one is special.” Players who also featured in a special photo op were Ibrahim Keita and Derek Walker.

Foday Samura, the team manager was at loss for words; overwhelmed by the fanfare and accolades. He was quick, however, to inform PV that his team will not leave matters as they were. On Saturday October 31, 2009, Edmonton Leone Stars will be hosting a celebratory dance in the northeast of the city. Slated highlights include an awards ceremony to recognize and thank all those who have somehow helped the team over the years.

Dynamic disc-jockey Arthur B. Roberts can hardly wait to “spin for the show." A former technical adviser to the squad, Roberts is just about set to steal the show for Edmonton Leone Stars, with his ARTBEAT music machine.

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