Kunle Soname has placed Ikenne on the football map
The sleepy town of Ikenne, in Ogun State has now become the biggest football hub in the country thanks to billionaire football club owner and philanthropist, Kunle Soname.
For the records, Ikenne is the hometown of the late Nigerian nationalist and statesman, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
As majority shareholder in Clube Desportivo Feirense, fondly called CD Feirense, a second division club in Portugal, which has tasted first division action, Soname knows how to grow the football business, in Ikenne.
From Lagos to Ijebu-Ode and later Sagamu, in Ogun State, Soname’s pet club, initially called FC Dender and now Remo Stars, have finally found a place called home.
A modest town away from the city.
This puts Ikenne with locations like Brondbyvester (Brondby), Watford (Watford FC), Heerenveen (FC Heerenveen), Sassuolo (FC Sassuolo) Burnley and Bournemouth (Bournemouth FC), which have clubs not based in cities.
According to the 2006 census, Ikenne has a population of 118,735 people!
This makes Ikenne the smallest town in Nigeria with a top flight team and the only town that is not a state capital to host top flight football action.
History was made last season as his pet club played the entire season of Nigeria’s top flight, the Nigeria Professional Football League season, at the Remo Stars Stadium, in Ikenne.
Add the LaLiga U15 Promises, Value Jet pre-season action to eight months of NPFL match day experience, then you have close to nine months of football fiesta to create a new feeling of ecstasy in Ikenne.
The icing on the cake is the clubs qualification for thr 2022/23 CAF Confederation Cup.
A football city.is evolving gradually with the volume of football business in Ikenne and it clearly holds the record as Nigeria’s home of grassroots football.
Remo Stars Stadium, Ikenne
The compact Remo Stars Stadium doesn’t rank amongst the biggest NPFL venues in terms of size. In fact, it is the smallest.
Nevertheless, it has what many of the bigger facilities in the NPFL lack.
It is clearly the most functional football stadium in the land with a modern hotel, well equipped gymnasium and functional training pitches.
It is not just the home of the club but also his academy, Beyond Limits, which has different age grade teams as he strengthens the conveyor belt that grows the youngsters.
For those who want to see a football only stadium, Ikenne is the place to be.
With the conclusion of the season, the next stage is to keep the town busy with a pre-season tournament.
Since the formation of Remo Stars, Soname has showed readiness to make the club a model in the. land and his dream has become reality
The ValueJet Cup is modelled as pre-season tournament to prepare teams for the football season.
Plans have reached advanced stage for the first edition with 10 teams confirming their presence.
Five top flight teams, which includes the four teams representing Nigeria at the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup as well as lower division teams.
The top flight teams include: NPFL champions, Rivers United, runners up, Plateau United as well as second runners up, Remo Stars.
Kwara United and Shooting Stars Sports Club complete the list of top flight teams.
Ijebu United, Ottasolo, Vandrezzer, Gateway United and Smart City complete the roll call of lower division teams.