Football Development in Sapele, Delta State From 1980 Till Date

Football development in Sapele, continued in the late 1980’s when some notable youth clubs were formed.

One of such club was the K.B Stars, which was formed in 1988 and solely financed by Chief K.B Omatseye. Some notable players that came from K.B Stars included: Andrew Aikomogbe, Destiny Iyonu (late), Oke Mariere, Femi Coker and Jerome Ezeoba. Another Youth club that gained prominence then, was the Pedro stars Football club.

It came into existence in 1988 and produced the likes of: Daniel Odedede, Jerome, Ike Ibe and Elvis Eruje. It was under the tutelage of Coach Daniel Evumena former Falconet and Falcons of Nigeria Head coach.

Golden Stars football club was another youth club which gained prominence in 1988. One notable player that came from their rank was Erivona Idahosa.

Finally, Athletico De Miren football club became a household name in the beautiful city of Sapele during the peak of grassroots football (1986-1995), and they won some domestic laurels.
They had some talented football player like Godwin Ovieghara, Emmanuel Ovieghara, Martins Ewerebo and Paul Akpokere in their ranks.

The club remained in existence till 1995 when Mr. Larry Kubeinje came to Sapele to bring football to limelight and thus began the birth of Urhiapele F.C.

In 1996, Urhiapele F.C won the Delta State League to become the first club from Sapele to win the trophy since its inception.

The club was able to achieve this remarkable feat as a result of a sound technical bench which was then piloted by Coach Solomon Ovieghara and the effort of enterprising player’s like- Faith Igbayo, Elvis Eruje, Ike Ibe, Godwin Ovieghara, Erivona Idahosa, Cyril Emujuagbe and a host of others.

Immediately after the club won the State league, more than 18 of its players secured professional contract with some Pro League teams in Nigeria.

In 2008 after the relegation of Delta United of Warri from Pro to Amateur division, a slot was given to Sapele to play in the Amateur division, and this slot was taken over by Okpe United F.C of Sapele which till date remains the only amateur football club in Sapele.

Mention must be made of some other youth teams which emanated in the 80’s/early 90’s, but never gained much prominence. Top on the list was Emeka United which was then based in Amukpe sapele and were under the tutelage of Coach Chikodi Onuoha and John Okokoyo. The team brought out enterprising striker- Freeborn Itejeri to limelight who later joined KB Stars and eventually became a key member of the Aba Millionaire club (Enyimba F.C) in the 2004-2006 seasons.

It is however sad to note, that all the youths Clubs in Sapele have faded into oblivion, due to lack of sponsorship from both the public and private sectors and gross administrative flaws.
On a bright note, Sapele has the enviable reputation of producing the only FIFA badge referee in the then Bendel State in the person of FIFA Daniel Aghante (Black Arrow).

A 5,000 sitter ultra modern stadium is still presently under construction, and when completed, will further boost football development not only in Sapele, but in the entire State.