By Emmanuel Afonne
Prestige Football Academy, an Abuja-based club, said on Friday it had intensified plans to establish a football school in the FCT, to enable youths to develop their football talents.
The Manager of the academy, Uchendu Nwabara, said in a statement that the football institution, when completed, would combine secondary school education with football training.
Nwabara said the aim was to achieve holistic development of the players in line with modern sports business concept.
“We want to create opportunity for every player to achieve his or her career in a reputable club locally or internationally, with high academic standards as well as social and health development,” he said.
According to Nwabara, beyond establishing the school, the academy is planning to recruit 30 players between ages 14 and 20 in an exercise expected to hold from Jan. 9 to 21 in Abuja.
Nwabara explained that the recruitment was part of efforts to develop football career of some talented youths in Abuja.
He said that 14 of the 30 recruited players would be taken to Ghana for trials where scouts from UK, Italy, France, Poland, Qatar and Ghana would watch them play and subsequently land them deals with foreign clubs.
Nwabara said “qualified players from ages 18-20 will sign contracts with clubs, while the minor ages of 14-17 who excel in the trials can still be selected by the clubs to inject into their respective academies based on agreement with the academy”.
He said the screening, which attracted a token amount, would take place at Baze University Sports Field, Abuja, while that of Ghana would take place in Obuasi, Kumasi, Cheetah FC Stadium in Accra, Ghana.
The football manager said a curriculum had been designed for the academy to assist the players develop their football career alongside their academics.
“Our curriculum is mostly associated with teaching football skills and education which includes different approaches to football training, drills and exercises, learning and assessment as well as instilling quality relationship between coaches and the players.
“We have developed a curriculum that provides an opportunity to create relevant, coherent and engaging environment for all players and coaches.
“Players are to have a clear purpose of representing the team and to provide a reference point not only for football but also for their education.
“We offer team assessment that provides the opportunity for self discovery, cognitive and mental development and we evaluate players’ skills and performance standards.
“We engage in local and international friendly matches to enable each player to attain his full capacity in football and we inculcate confidence, self esteem, knowledge and create the opportunity for players to participate in competitions at various levels.
“In general term, our educational football academy consists of everything that promotes intellectual, personal moral values, social and physical development of the participants,” Nwabara said.
He added that the academy was in partnership with FIFA-verified agents, including Istepan Saraka from UK, Geinnaro Gisonna from Italy, Onur Demr from France, Janusz Dziedzic from Poland, Hamad Al-Hal from Qatar and
Emmanuel Samjohn based in Ghana.
He also said that competent coaches and intermediaries were among those facilitating the signing of players.
“We have a reservoir of international collaborators who conduct scouting competitions from time to time and select the best players for foreign clubs”. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Idris Abdulrahman