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After three days of football and interplay, Mercato 2013 - the second annual football transfer window fair organized on 14-16 January 2013 in Douala by Synafoc (the National Union of Cameroonian Footballers) - finished up on a note of hope and satisfaction.

 

More than 200 players came from Douala, Edéa, Limbe, Yaoundé and elsewhere to join in. Eight football matches. Several hours of discussions on the healthy practice of football, the hygiene of a footballer’s lifestyle, footballers’ rights and duties, retraining etc. There, in a few lines, are the statistics for the 2013 Mercato tournament. A satisfactory and encouraging balance sheet, in the opinion of the Cameroonian union.

 

This football fair was organized by Synafoc to give unemployed footballers an opportunity to find clubs, and 27 players were indeed approached by recruiters with contracts in mind. This figure may be revised upwards in the coming days, considering the many promises made to players by agents and other talent scouts.

 

 

The most remarkable catch during the tournament was goalkeeper Freddy Ime Massela, who caught the eye of the scouts for FC Sapins de Libreville, a First-Division Gabonese club. The management of that club quickly sent him an invitation to spend ten days of tests in Libreville. This 23-year-old goalie left Cameroon on Saturday 19 January.

 

Ime Massela is delighted to have been invited. ‘It’s a great feeling. It isn’t every day you get an invitation from a foreign club, you know, especially if you’re a goalkeeper. So I have to grab my chance. I’m going there with the firm intention of succeeding. I’m going to do everything I can to convince the FC Sapins management. I know it’s a big challenge, but I’m ready to meet it head-on.'

 

'As a matter of fact, when the Synafoc executives called me to say I was invited to go and do some tests with FC Sapins de Libreville, I thought it was a joke at first. But when I saw the letter, I was very surprised. Surprised because two days earlier, when the tournament began, I mean personally I didn’t expect a call from beyond our national frontiers. And the way things went so fast also pleasantly surprised me.'

 

'Please allow me to thank the National Union of Cameroonian Footballers, and its employees and executives, for all the work they do every day for the good of football players. What they do for us is enormous, magnificent. If I have this opportunity today, it’s all thanks to them.'

 

'I’ll finish by calling on all young Cameroonian footballers to join Synafoc, because it’s our only real ally.’

 

Freddy Ime Massela