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NIGERIA 2009: THE SUCCESS STORY OF FOOTBALL ACADEMY IN NIGERIA

By Amita Jones

As Nigeria qualifies into the quarter finals of the 2009 edition of the FIFA U17 world cup, let us try to reflect into some issues concerning the team. Majority of the players in the team ply their trade in football academies around the country, with little or no prominence and mention.

Thanks to the success recorded so far in this tournament, it is expected that scouts from around the world will hover around the players who have distinguished themselves in the competition so far, in a bid to sign them into their ranks as their agents and representatives.

This is obviously a good case for grassroots' football all over the country, as it will allow the world to take note of their presence via the talents so far show cased. In which case, it is important to note that there are still a good number of raw talents yet to be discovered in the country, a question which has been answered once more with regards to the dearth of talents in Nigerian football. Whether these boys will be able to sustain and increase the tempo that they have shown, only the future will tell.

The owners and financiers of these academies are indeed recommended for commendation by the Nigerian authorities especially the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF). These men and women of repute have put in a lot into these teams to ensure that the yield the results that we all are savouring now.

Kudos to the following persons and the members of their academies

(NOTE: Only those whose profile could be traced via Google search are included)

S/N
NAME OF ACADEMY
LOCATION
OWNER AND FINANCIER
PLAYER IN GOLDEN EAGLET
JERSEY NUMBER
POSITION
COMMENT

1
OUSFORD ACADEMY
NIGERIA

Dami Danjuma PAUL
1
GOALKEEPER
GOOD REFLEXES. CONFIDENT SHOWING SO FAR.

2
IGBINO BABES FC
NIGERIA

Oliha AIGBE
2

RIGHT FULL
BACK
CONFIDENT ON THE BALL. SUPPORTS THE ATTACK WITH EASE

3
MY PEOPLE FC

www.mypeoplefc.wordpress.com
NIGERIA
TB JOSHUA

(FOUNDER SYNAGOGUE CHURCH OF ALL NATIONS)
Ogenyi Eddy ONAZI
4
MIDFIELDER
STARTED THE FIRST MATCH, BUT HAS SINCE BEEN DROPPED TO THE BENCH DUE TO INJURY

4
A & B ACADEMY
NIGERIA

Fortune CHUKWUDI
5
(C)
DEFENDER
A GOOD LEADER ON THE PITCH. AFTER THE FIRST MATCH, HE HAS LED TO THE DEFENCE TO CONCEDE ON A GOAL.

5
HARD FOUNDATION
NIGERIA

Kenneth Josiah OMERUO
6
DEFENDER
HE HAS FORMED A SOLID PARTNERSHIP WITH THE SKIPPER, ENSURING THE TEAM ONLY CONCEDED A GOAL AFTER THE FIRST MATCH AGAINST THE GERMANS.

6
MARVELLOUS FC
Nigeria

Olanrewaju Ayobami KAYODE
10
STRIKER
A SKILLFUL PLAYER WITH FLAIR. HE HAS BEEN UNLUCKY SO FAR IN THE COMPETITION.

7
STANDARD FC ACADEMY
NIGERIA

Chukwujike MGBAM
12
DEFENDER
HE HAS NOT FEATURED IN THE COMPETITION SO FAR.

8
MY PEOPLE FC

www.mypeoplefc.wordpress.com
NIGERIA
TB JOSHUA

(FOUNDER SYNAGOGUE CHURCH OF ALL NATIONS)
Sani Shehu EMMANUEL
14
STRIKER
WONDERFUL PERFORMANCE. WITH THREE GOALS IN TWO GAMES, HE HAS CLAIMED THE TITLE OF SUPER SUB AND LOOKS LIKE THE MOST POTENT GOAL SCORER IN THE TEAM.

9
EMMANUEL AMUNIKE ACADEMY
www.amunikesocceracademy.com
NIGERIA
EMMANUEL AMUNIKE

(FORMER SUPER EAGLES WINGER)
Yusuf Olaitan OTUBANJO
15
MIDFIELDER
INTRODUCED LATE IN THE MATCH AGAINST NEW ZEALAND FOR HIS FIRST TASTE OF ACTION.

10
TEAM LAGOS
NIGERIA

Amos Ossai IZUCHUKWU
16
GOALKEEPER
HE HAS NOT FEATURED IN THE COMPETITION SO FAR.

11
YOUNG STARS FC
NIGERIA

Obinna Emmanuel OKORO
17
MIDFIELDER
HE HAS NOT FEATURED IN THE COMPETITION SO FAR.

12
BISALLO FC
NIGERIA

Edafe EGBEDI
18
MIDFIELDER
HE HAS BEEN A POINT OF REFERENCE IN THE TEAM. WITH THREE GOASL TO HIS NAME ALREADY AS A WINGER.

14
ECO ACADEMY
NIGERIA

Deji Mayowa JOEL
19
MIDFIELDER
HE HAS NOT FEATURED IN THE COMPETITION SO FAR.

15
FUTURE PRO ACADEMY
NIGERIA

Ramon Olamilekan AZEEZ
20
MIDFIELDER
HE HAS HAD A GOOD TOURNAMENT SO FAR. A PLAYER WITH PLENTY OF TALENT AND STAMINA. COMBINED WELL WITH ABDUL AJAGUN WELL IN THE CENTRE OF THE MIDFIELD.

16
ASPIRE ACADEMY

www.aspire.qa
NIGERIA
ASPIRE ACADEMY QATAR
John FELAGHA
21

HE HAS NOT FEATURED IN THE COMPETITION SO FAR.



As seen from the squad list, 16 of the 21 members of the team members are from unknown grassroot football academies around Nigeria. Out of this number, 10 have been vital to the squad, as they have played prominent roles in the team's quest to successfully defend its trophy.

Kudos to the owners and financiers of these grassroot teams. I pray that this is just the beginning of good fortunes for their teams, the players and most especially themselves.