By Basil Afoni
With the Southwest Regional Mini Interpools tourney set to take place on October 24 and 25, cameroonpostline.com takes a look at the various teams involved.
Prisons Social Club of Buea (Home Boys)
Formed in 1967, Prisons Buea, fondly called Home Boys, will be looking to tap from the club’s glorious days as they go into the play-offs. They are the oldest team in the Southwest D2 championship and will be looking forward to reviving the sweet memories of the 1960s and 70s, when the club was the darling team of many Anglophones. In 1968, they played the Cup of Cameroon finals and were beaten controversially by Oryx of Douala. However, in recent years, Prisons have been a shadow of their glorious days. They were beaten last year in the first round of the play-offs.
Victoria United (OPOPO)
Victoria United of Limbe, aka OPOPO (One People One Power), are looking to bounce back into elite football after many years in the doldrums. The darling team of the people of Limbe was the first team to pick a ticket for the Mini Interpools with still three days of play to go. After some spells in the country’s top freight football, OPOPO have, however, failed in several attempts to bounce back. They will have the home advantage as the Mini Interpools is taking place on their own playground and will be counting on the support of the home crowd when they unite under the banner of “One People One Power”.
Botafogo AFC of Buea
Since relegation from the country’s 1st Division league in 2004, Botafogo have failed to shine. Their numerous attempts to return to elite circles have all ended at the level of the final of the Mini Interpools. After their controversial inclusion in this year’s championship, they might become the cornerstone that was rejected. This saw the club inventing a new slogan (“They will always talk but we are there”) to hit back at those who were against their inclusion in the championship. They were eliminated at the 16-finals of this year’s Cup of Cameroon by Astres of Douala, a League 1 team.
Best Stars FC of Limbe
The 2014 champions will be defending their title as they seek to correct their errors at last year’s National Interpools championship. The Limbe team has represented the Region on two occasions but has failed to gain promotion into the National League Two championship. Created in early 2000, the team has worked its way to be among some of the powerful teams in the region. Football pundits consider their play style as one of the best in the region.
University of Buea FC (The Intellectuals)
Created in 2014, UBFC is determined to write their name not only in the Southwest football books but also to shine at the national level and beyond. Since creation, UBFC appeared in last year’s Mini Interpools but failed to impress. In the same year, they reached the round of 16 of the Cup of Cameroon. With excellent results in the last two Varsity Games that saw them winning Silver medal in 2014 and Gold in 2015, they will be looking forward to conquering Southwest and representing the Region at the National Interpools tourney.
Ekona United FC
Considered as wet noses in the race to represent the Region, Ekona United will be looking forward to proving their doubters wrong. Ending the league in the third position ahead of Mount Cameroon and Kumber Lakers, they certainly are a side to watch out for at the Mini Interpools. Also, they have loyal and committed fans.
Continental FC of Buea
With over a decade of existence, Continental has failed to gain promotion into top freight football. With outstanding results during the championship, supporters of the club will be hoping that their team makes it this season into the country’s League 2 football. They were one of the teams to qualify for the Mini Interpools with two days of play yet to go.
EEMSA of Tiko
Formed to serve as a nursery for Tiko United during their heydays in Elite 1, EEMSA has grown big and is now vying for the lone ticket to represent the Southwest region. Their 5-1 spanking of Buea United was certainly a warning by the Tiko Town Green side to the bigger guns in the region. After emerging third in their group, EEMSA had to play a play-off with Little Foot to decide who clinches the last ticket for the Mini Interpools. EMMSA humiliated Little Foot 4-0 to pick the ticket.