Organisers of the 60 Goals Soccer Stars Project, a grassroots-based football talent-hunt initiative, on Tuesday in Abuja said they have now selected 150 young Nigerians for mentorship.
Jane Ndubuisi, the project’s National Co-ordinator, said at a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja that the selected players would then be endorsed for a professional football career.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the 60 Goals Soccer Stars Project is a collaboration with the Ned Nwoko Foundation.
Ndubuisi said the football youngsters were selected from screenings by the group in Lagos, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Anambra and the FCT during the first phase of the project.
She added that the young footballers were presently being camped, mentored and recommended for football agents, clubs and the project’s partners both within and outside Nigeria.
“In the past eight months, we have been moving from state to state as part of our vision to scout, discover and develop raw talents in football to be showcased to the world.
“We are happy to announce that some of the best talents in football have been finally selected for the first phase of the project, and we believe that in the nearest future they will make Nigeria proud.
“I appreciate and congratulate these young players for showing commitment and discipline during this period.
“We believe strongly that at least 50 of the selected players will make it to foreign clubs in this first phase, while the others will be mentored and further trained for opportunities that will come,” Ndubuisi said.
Also, Francis Ikechukwu, the initiative’s Project Director and former national under-23 player said: “Nigeria is blessed with abundant talents but they need platforms like this to showcase themselves.
“The project is to develop football from the grassroots by discovering and empowering these young ones who had no opportunities.
“We want the best for them. So, we brought in foreign coaches as part of their mentorship, and thereafter we shall give them endorsements and recommend them for agents,” he said.
John Fashanu, an ex-international footballer, who represented at the occasion Ned Nwoko, the head of the Ned Nwoko Foundation, congratulated the selected youths.
He urged them to remain focused in order to stand out as they begin their professional football life.
“This is the beginning of your journey as footballers. So, I urge you to go on and work hard because the agents and clubs know what they want. They want real talent.
“The Ned Nwoko Foundation, as always, is willing to support this project to ensure that young Nigerians, especially, realise their dreams.”
NAN reports that football scouts and agents, as well as football enthusiasts were present at the event.
(Edited by Olawale Alabi)
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