When former France Captain Marcel Desailly launched the Lizzy Complex on 18th June 2011, he set out on a journey to honour the memory of his late mother Elizabeth Addy and also to provide a modern sports facility to serve a growing urban populace.
Today, the Lizzy Sports complex is celebrating a major milestone after winning a historic first Gothia Cup in the U-12 category.
Lizzy Football club, a subsidiary of the Lizzy Sports Complex, achieved the feat during their third participation in the world’s largest international youth soccer tournament in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The club was among 1600 teams from 70 nations who took part in the 41st edition of the world renowned football tournament.
At a press briefing at the complex, the Public Relations Officer of Lizzy Complex, Alexandra Ayirebi-Acquah said the achievement goes to confirm the values and training the complex has given the kids over the years.
“The vision of the complex has always been to instill the virtue of teamwork beyond the colour and social status contrary to popular belief,”
“The boys see beyond that and work together for a common goal which is really our most prized achievement. The Cup is just to reiterate the hard work the boys and staff have put in, in the last years.
“Beyond the great technical skills and impact into them, we try to make them better people. As a complex, we are so proud of that.
Marcel Desailly’s facility has played host to numerous international football national teams and club sides including but not restricted to the Ghana Black Stars, the Ivorian National team, DR Congo’s TP Mazembe, Ghana’s biggest club sides Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak, to name a few.
The facility which has an estimated value of €2m, boasts of four standard football pitches, a swimming pool, a gymnasium, hostel facility, a bar, basketball court, among others.
Among all its prized assets and clientele, the development of football talent is one key area the complex has focused on for the past years. Its summer camps have been well patronized by the diplomatic community and Ghanaian in general.
Following off from the successes achieved locally, the Lizzy Sports Academy twice competed in the prestigious Gothia Cup in the last two years.
During their third year at the tournament, the club’s U-11, U-15 and 18s bowed out in the quarter finals of their respective categories.
The performance by the U-12s particularly stood out as they won the ultimate trophy. An elated member of the U-12 team, Ellie Chammas said he had learnt to adapt to situations in a game.
“The one thing I learnt was that you have to change your style of playing for every game because your opponents are always watching you. Our coaches told us not to play the way the other teams were playing.
Chammas’s teammate, Isaac Owusu added: “Since last two years, we have been unable to win the cup. The people they sent last year were better than us but we were lucky. I learnt not to look for the player but always look for where the ball is.
The head coach of Lizzy Complex club, Nana Agyeman, said the achievement is as a result of hard work from the staff of the club.
“We have very good coaches. The boys go through a while season undergoing technical training. Lizzy Sports continues to train players at the grassroots.
U-12 coach Imurana Abdul Karim gave a detailed account of how his team managed to fight against the odds to beat Swedish side Hammarby in the final 6:0 to lift the trophy. He praised his players for their effort and also listening to his instructions to win the trophy.
It might be early days yet but the signs look good after four years of existence. From its humble beginning, the complex has become the number spot of leisure and business the corporate world and the football fraternity. A lot more is expected of them in the coming years.