October 27, 2019

Nigeria is blessed with abundant football talents, visiting foreign scouts say

Coach of the Super Eagles of Nigeria, Gernot Rohr

Coach of the Super Eagles of Nigeria, Gernot Rohr

Oleg Dziuba and Gianfranco Gazzoli, two of the foreign scouts at the 60 Goals Soccer Stars Talent-hunt Programme, on Sunday gave an acknowledgement of the abundance of football talents in Nigeria.

The two scouts who participated in the just-ended Abuja centre of the talent-hunt programme told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the event was one of the best.

They said the event was arguably the most successful talent-hunt programme in the history of the country.

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Dziuba, who is also the Ukrainian national under-21 chief coach, said he was amazed at the football talents which abound in Nigeria.

“I’m totally overwhelmed by what we have seen so far. Highly impressed by the youngsters and I can assure that most of them are going to get foreign contracts as soon as possible,’’ he said.

The coach observed that Nigeria and Ukraine have so many peculiarities and he was particularly impressed by the good and humanitarian attitude of Nigerians

On his part, Gazzoli who is from Italy said the talent-hunt programme has turned out to be much better than he, the Ukrainian and the organisers had expected.

“You have great talents in Nigeria. The youngsters we have seen so far are highly determined and they exhibit great confidence on the field of play.

“Most of them are going to get clubs in Europe because the European clubs are always in need of African players, especially Nigerians, to come and prove their mettle,’’ he noted.

Speaking also, Samuel Abimbola, a former national coach, praised the organisers of the event, 60 Goals Soccer Stars, for their diligence and adoption of the best practices during the screening exercise.

“I’m impressed with what we’ve seen so far. The organisers did the right things. No sentiments, and all the players picked are the best with what I’ve seen so far,’’ the former national under-17 male team coach said.

NAN reports that the screening in Abuja attracted budding players from over 30 football clubs, as well as players who registered for the talent-hunt as individuals.

Francis Ikechukwu, 60 Goals Soccer Stars’ Project Manager, said 25 players were to be selected from Abuja centre to advance to the next phase.

“We hope to select 25 players from the many we had. Players who prove to have the exceptional skills and qualities necessary to succeed will be put forward for the second screening by the European Club Representatives,’’ he added.

NAN reports that the screening exercise was held from Wednesday to Friday at the Area 3 pitch in Abuja.

It has already been held in Lagos, Uyo and 10 other cities in the country, and it is being sponsored by Ned Nwoko, a former member of the House of Representatives.