Leadership (Abuja)

26 November 2012

Nigeria: Man United Coaches Hail Glo Soccer Academy

Photo: Aliyu Adekunle/Vanguard
Super Eagles-Namibia Match in Calabar which ended 1-0 in favour of Nigeria

The two UEFA Grade A Coaches from Manchester United, England have described the Glo Soccer Academy as a "fantastic programme."

Speaking at the Academy house in Lekki, Lagos, Adam Temple, one of the Manchester United coaches said the Academy's ambience is superb and will boost the morale of the boys and improve learning at their age.

"The academy is a fantastic programme. It is definitely a good start for the boys of their age. The academy is structured such that the boys will grow within the ladder of age-grade football. The environment is serene and good for learning. It will boost the morale of the boys on and off the pitch," he said.

According to him, "when you create a good environment for them to learn off the pitch, they will perform well on the pitch."

His colleague, Andrew Smith was also impressed with the standard of the camp. "The Glo Soccer Academy structure is not too different from the Man Utd standard. This is a good environment with good facilities. It is nice for us to be involved in this programme and we look forward to an exciting week where we will be working with the boys," he noted.

Andrew explained that youth football is a journey. He said that Manchester United has a structure that allows the boys to grow from 14 to 22, where they will be matured to play in the major leagues. He therefore commended Globacom for "providing the talents with the platform to go through the journey in the world of football".

He said "Glo Soccer Academy has a great environment, facilities and the best technical crew you can find in Africa."

Team Manager of the Academy, Victor Ikpeba who welcomed the Manchester United Coaches to the house akong with Toby Bafoe, noted that their main objective is to get 16 out of the 33 boys currently in the house to Old Trafford. He said he is convinced that the academy will produce quality players who will become Glo Ambassadors.

According to him, "the quality ones might have the chance to play somewhere in Europe but they must be good to play against the Europeans. But I also see a situation where some of them might have the opportunity of graduating into the U-17 National Team, and possibly into the main National Team. But they must be good."

Tony BafFoe, ex-Ghana international and a coach in the academy noted that "education is important and key to the boys. It is not only playing football, but they must also be educated. That is the joy of the Glo Soccer Academy where we prepare the boys to combine brains with boots. That is why we offer our expertise. We are not only coaches, here we are their fathers and guardians."

The Manchester United coaches will work with the technical team of the Academy for a whole week where Andrew said that they will "give the boys the right practices and mental alertness that will allow them to express themselves on the pitch."

The Academy opened last week Sunday with 33 boys selected after rigorous screening exercises held in Nigeria, Ghana and Benin Republic. At the end of the Academy, the best 16 will qualify to proceed to Manchester United football school as part of the prizes. While one of the lads wins N5m as the best player of the academy, the rest 15 will win N1m each. All of them will be automatic winners of G-Bam scholarship of N750,000.

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