Ex- International and former Stuttgart of Germany Striker, Jonathan Akpoborie, has commended telecommunications giants, Globacom for creating the Glo Soccer Academy, stating that it is another platform of empowering Nigerian Youths and reducing social vices in the country.
Jonathan who was at the Legacy Pitch, National Stadium venue of the Glo Academy screening exercise in Lagos over the weekend, joined the technical crew, which had his former teammates in the Super Eagles, former African Footballer of the Year, Victor Ikpeba, Tijani Babangida and Mutiu Adepoju.
Others are former Black Stars of Ghana player, Anthony Baffoe, Zion Ogunfeyinmi, and former Green Eagles winger, Segun Odegbami, MON to select the top ten candidates out of thousands of talented footballers that registered for the exercise.
Akpoborie described the Academy as a viable platform that thousands of talented youths need to showcase their skills and develop their football career.
According to Akpoborie, “There was nothing like this in our own heydays, we practically rose through the ranks”. He added that football helped to shape his life and shift his attention away from vices that were common among the youths in his younger days in Ajegunle.
He therefore called on Nigerian youths to make maximum use of the opportunity offered by the Glo Soccer Academy to fast track their football career, noting that this will help reduce unemployment and social vices among youths. He called on other corporate organisations to emulate Globacom in developing youth talents in football.
Also speaking on the Academy, Adepoju, who was popularly known as ‘Headmaster’during his active days, lauded Globacom for initiating the Academy. Adepoju said he is optimistic that the National teams would benefit immensely from the talents that the Academy would produce.
Meanwhile, the Lagos screening attracted thousands of youthful footballers within the age bracket of 14-17 years, who trooped in their numbers to the National Stadium in Surulere, accompanied by their parents and guardians. At the end of the three-day rigorous screening exercise, ten talented youths were picked.
They include two goalkeepers: Okechukwu Daniel and Itua Osayi, defenders: Nwafor Samuel, Aliu Adamu, and Reuben George; Midfielders: Emeka Okolie, Tobe Nwaribeaku, Willy Joseph and Eteobong Akpan and Striker; Ayinde Sodiq. The Lagos exercise drew the curtain on the Nigerian leg of Glo Soccer Academy screening, while the technical team continues their search for talents in youth football on the streets of Benin Republic, which was held off yesterday comes to an end today. Already, 15 youthful players have been selected from similar exercises in Ghana.
Selected players from all the screening centres in Nigeria, Ghana and Benin Republic will be pruned down to 33 who will head for the Glo Soccer Academy in Lagos, where they will be trained by top coaches from West Africa and Manchester United Football Club.
Out of the 33 in the Academy, 16 finalists will emerge and they will go on a training tour of the Manchester United Soccer Schools in Carrington, England.