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Lionel Bong: The Engine In YOSA’s Sails 

By Basil K Mbuye

Lionel Bong in action

Lionel Bong in action

Born in 1998, in Fundong, the capital of Boyo Division, Lionel Bong, is gradually becoming a household name in the Cameroon Professional Football League.

Growing up in Fundong, this young left fullback, a native of Kom in the Northwest Region, has been a revelation since joining Yong Sports Academy, YOSA, a year ago.

Today, Bong is being needed by bigger names in Cameroon football and also out of the country. He has also won the hearts of many Bamenda fans of YOSA who have nicknamed him “Small Three” as a result of his size and age.

The Kom boy’s journey into the world of football started during his early school days. He later moved to Buea where he joined Cinyodev Sports Academy of Buea, where he began taking part in some local tournaments.

During his time in Buea, Cinyodev gave a deaf ear to some giant clubs in Cameroon football that showed interest in signing the teenager who was already making tongues to wag.

However, in the second half of the Cameroon League One, Cinyodev sent him on loan to the Northwest League 1 giants, YOSA. Bong was fast to adapt to the squad and also gained a place in coach Justine Kamga’s starting XI.

Just like he captured fans when he first played in Buea, Bong again displayed a piece of his football flair when he made his first appearance for YOSA against Astre of Douala. His composure, confidence and his ability to read games, made him loved by many football lovers who turned out to watch him play.

He later on played all YOSA’s games in the second round. At the end of the season, he had to leave for his parent club in Buea.

This was to the disappointment of many YOSA supporters who had wished the club sign him permanently.
With many options on the table, Bong opted to return to YOSA where he had already gained fans. The supporters of YOSA again gave him a warm welcome.

Play Style

The composed defender is good in reading the game, breaking up attacks through interceptions and calm redistribution of the ball. He plays with a maturity that belies his tender age.

His attacking flair and defensive skills make him one of the best in the league. Known for his technique with the ball and his overlapping runs, which often end with crosses in the penalty area, Bong combines intelligence, technical ability and power in a way that few other players in the League cannot.

His shot with his left foot is like a mortar round hidden in a cave-seldom seem, but deafeningly efficient and destructive.

Despite galloping at extreme speeds with the ball stuck to his foot, he is a player of pauses; he deliberates, scans, surveys and waits for teammates to create space or start runs.

All these make him an uncontested starter for his club.