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Sports academy to train 200 street kids in education, football

ABUJA –  Marcel Ezenwoye, the Proprietor of Concepts Sports Academy (COSA) in Abuja, said on Wednesday that over 200 kids would be trained in its grassroots football educational programme in the FCT.

Ezenwonye said this in Abuja at the launching of the academy’s programme for the kids tagged: “Street Kids, Back to School through Soccer’’.

According to Ezenwonye, the idea is to enrol most of the street children into schools located in Ekwulobia, Anambra and make them play football.

“This is to enable the player fall back on something in case his football career is truncated.

“However, we want to harness their skills, develop them and market them to clubs in Europe and Asia; we have many clubs that have asked us to scout for quality players for them,’’ he said.

Ezenwonye said the players, while in school, would also write the West Africa Examination Council (WEAC) and National Examination Council (NECO) examinations to boost their curriculum vitae.

He said the education acquired would enable the players to read, write and discuss intelligently when they were faced with difficulties, adding that the players would be selected through competitions.

“We have tournaments where the discovered talents are competing among themselves; what we do is to select the best from different participating academies and clubs that will be competing.

“The selected players are the ones we will call COSA team; our coaches will re-train them and then take them to go and play football abroad.

“ We have a mandate with foreign clubs to get these players, re-train them and prepare them professionally and mentally to avoid culture of shock while they are abroad.’’

According to him, “at times you see some of these players getting confused because of the weather, but through this programme, we will let them know what they will be facing”.

He said the high demand for Nigeria’s talented players was because of their exploits in the Golden Eaglets at the Under-17 World Championships organised by FIFA. (NAN)