By Albert Akonta
Top English and Canadian scouts are expected to visit Nigeria to hunt for hidden football talents at the grassroots level across the country.
The programme designed by Abi Goodman, the Executive Program Coordinators of OZ Consulting Firm and Kanu Soccer Academy in Canada would see the Senior Academy Coach and Scout Coordinator Colin Cardines join formal premiership footballer who captained Wigan Athletic to Victory in 2014 FA Cup final to lead International College and Club Scouting Event across Nigeria.
The International Colleges and Clubs Scouting Programme for U15 to U23 is slated to take place across Nigeria from August to September.
Goodman said her team has the experience in managing and coordinating football event across Europe and North America and are ready to replicate same for the development of the Nigerian talents.
“We coordinate tournaments in Europe and North America and work with scouts from premiership clubs in across Europe,” Goodman said.
Jason Garforth speaking on the project, said, “This scouting showcase is designed to promote Education and expose young lover of football in Nigeria to scholarship opportunities in USA & Canada.”
Football is the most loved and passionately followed of all the sports in the country for which we have a comparative advantage compared to other sports. Apart from being a unifying factor, we also have a lot of talents in the country.
“Investment made to harness, promote and project the talent will rub off on the populace. Big, bold and far reaching initiatives that can capture the minds and imagination of young people and the nation like the ICC scouting showcase is imperative,”
The program according to Goodman, will take place from 22nd August to 7th September 2018 in different venues across the states.
“The programme benefits for Nigerian students and youths participants are positive character building, enlightenment on the dangers of drug abuse, Sportsmanship leadership; Positive holistic development and Extra curricula activities”
“Others are membership of a 15-man team for showcase tournaments in Europe and North America; discovery of outstanding football talents for exposure and professional career development; International education sports scholarship.” She said.
The community and the nation will have such benefits as peace building; Cohesion and positive engagement in communities; Extra curricula activities for community’s supporters and other football lovers; Platform to disseminate useful information to younger ones and the community and employment opportunities. The scouting showcase offers several other social and economic opportunities for the football and sports stakeholders in the country.
ICCSS, according to Abi is driven by the need to spread our net wide and give opportunity to as many talented footballers across the nation as possible to come forward and show their talents and be identified. It is to create opportunities for budding talents at the grassroots, in schools and the streets to participate for a chance to achieve their dream of becoming professional footballers.