By Olayinka Owolewa
A football scouting programme, tagged “Super Talent Football Scouting Tournament”, began in Ilorin on Monday at the Kwara Football Academy pitch, with players from 12 youth clubs participating.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the players were drawn from four states and are expected to display their football talents in the five days of the competition.
The tournament, organised by Abdullahi Yusuf, Chairman of Abraysports FC, is expected to end on Friday, with the final billed to hold at the Kwara Stadium Complex in Ilorin.
The competition is aimed at the grassroots and it is to expose the teams from Kwara, Lagos, Edo and Osun to foreign scouts.
The teams include Dynamic FC, Abraysports FC, Olusosun United, JK Soccer Academy, Kwara Football Academy, LA Planet Sports Academia and House of Prayers Sports Academy.
The rest are Olansile Football Academy, Alan FC, Laycon Academy, Metrice FC and Amapro Selected.
Two members of the scouting team, England-based Busayo Akinyemi and Tomas Bahnik from the Czech Republic, said the player or players chosen from the tournament would go for trials abroad.
“They will be taken to clubs in Europe for trials and can eventually sign a professional contract, if they impress the club,” they said.
Speaking during a pre-tournament press conference, Bahnik who said he has links all over Europe said the goal was to find good players and develop them into the European programme.
Akinyemi, who observed that talents abound in Nigeria, pointed out that they needed a platform to be discovered and groomed to stardom.
He said their mission was to help Academies and Nigerian football, wit players with the age bracket of 18 and 20 their target.
Akinyemi added that plans were underway to organise football coaching clinics.
“This will be done as a way of preparing the coaches to train their players and teams in line with general requirements in scouting programmes.”
Earlier, the Chairman of AbraySports had said the tournament was being organised by First Class Sports Marketing in conjunction with Abraysports International.
Yusuf said in recent times the development of the sport from the grassroots had been ignored and it has derailed the progress and development of the game in the country.
“That is the essence of organising the tournament in my state. I want to provide a platform for grassroots players in the country to find a club in Europe.
“This is because, in return this will help promote the state around the world,” he said.
Yusuf then urged all the players and participating teams to play by the rules of the game. (NAN)