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Copa Lagos: English champion, Arsenal BSC ready for the challenge


Fans savouring the matches of the 2016 Copa Lagos Beach Soccer tournament at the Eko Atlantic.<br />

With Arsenal Beach Soccer team debuting at the Copa Lagos a few days from now, we take a look a the side playing that is in Africa for the first time.

Arsenal BSC, the current holders of the English National League title, will parade top stars within their ranks, including Scott Lawson and goalkeeper Taylor Humm. The duo was a part of the England Beach soccer team that played at the Morocco Beach Soccer Tournament.

Arsenal BS will be squaring up against Kebbi State Beach Soccer Club in the first match of the tournament on December 8.

The current English National League Champions espouses a style based on a quick movement of the ball on and off the sands, strategic and compact defending in zones.

The success of the side is majorly based on the technical brilliance of the team’s leader, Lawson and the efficient support cast, including Japanese Beach soccer player, Ryuichi Shibutani, Jaz Camara and Tom O’Neill. Aaron Clarke’s impressive ability to score goals from different ranges also makes the Arsenal side a fiercely prolific side.

Aaron Clarke was top scorer in the English National League that was concluded months ago. Clarke claimed the award as the top marksman with 25 goals from 10 matches played.

Arsenal defeated Silesia BS St Neots 7-2 to become champions after they had beaten Portsmouth BS 7-3 in the semi-finals. The Arsenal Beach Soccer Team also were winners of the Beach Soccer Tournament held at Appley Beach, Isle of Wight. Arsenal BS defeated Portsmouth BS to win the UK Super Cup finals. The team coached by Dan Hulme defeated BSC Sanchez in the Semi-finals to book their place in the finals.

The side also parades a former Arsenal footballer. Terry Bowes played alongside Ashely Cole as a junior player in Arsenal Football Club and won Arsenal’s first FA Premier Youth League in 1998. Bowes was released from Arsenal without a first-team appearance. He also played at Ipswich Town before he switched over from football to Beach soccer.

The 38-year old who was player-coach of the England Beach Soccer Team in 2010 was instrumental in Arsenal’s title win weighing in with his experience tactically as well as marshalling the defence on the sands. The England Beach Soccer International was part of the England team that emerged Division B champions at the Euro Beach Soccer League in Warnemunde, this year.

Arsenal BS will also play against Pepsi Football Academy and the first Lagos Beach soccer side, Gidi Sharks that was scouted and trained by Angelo Schirinzi, coach of the Switzerland Beach Soccer team.

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