One of Nigeria’s foremost philanthropist, the doyen of the Parish Club Refund, Hon. Prince (Dr) Ned Nwoko, has described Nigeria, particularly Delta State as a home of sports and pledged to continue to promote sports and assist budding sport talents in the State to showcase their skills and rise to stardom in their chosen Sport. Prince Ned Nwoko stated this while addressing the press after performing the kickoff ceremony of a football scouting trial on Thursday 29th August, held at Stephen Keshi stadium, Asaba.
The 3-day trial organised by 60 Goals Global and sponsored by Ned Nwoko Foundation, is to identify potential football talents and assist them to get contracts in football clubs in Europe. It will run through to Saturday 31st August and involved participants from all the amateur football club sides in Delta State.
In a Press briefing after performing the kickoff ceremony, Prince (Dr) Ned Nwoko said, ‘Nigeria, particularly Delta State is a home of sports and we will continue to promote sports and assist budding sport talents to rise to stardom. What we are doing here is trial to identity budding footballers, sponsor their training and assist them to get contracts in football football clubs in Europe, where they could fully showcase their football skills and rise to stardom.
My Foundation recognised the fact there are a lot of JJ Okochas, the Kanu Nwakwos out there who needed to be assisted to come to limelight. Our motivation is to identify and assist such youth to exposed their talents and be useful to themselves, their parents and the state’.
Hon. Prince Ned Nwoko who is the current President of Project Tourism in Nigeria also stated that sport is one of the cardinal pillars of the organization because, as he put it, ‘the Project Tourism in Nigeria recognises the potential of sports to attract great numbers of tourists to the country, for this reason, we are partnering relevant sports authorities. and organizations in Nigeria to develop the sector to help boost the tourism subsector of the Nigerian economy.’
Hon. Prince Ned Nwoko further added that the proposed Stars University, he is building at Idumuje Ugboko, Delta State, when operational, will own a football club aside offering diverse courses for sportsmen and women, to enable them be functional in society after their active Sport life. He stated that the football club will train young football stars across the country and give them opportunity to fulfill their dreams in football.
Prince (Dr) Ned Nwoko, also disclosed that he is in contact with Fulham Football Club England, to work out modality on how the Club and his Foundation could collaborate to establish a football academy in Delta State, where potential football stars will be properly groomed to excel in the game.’
Earlier while addressing the footballers, Hon. Prince Ned Nwoko, encouraged them to put in their best to get selected.
His words, I want to encourage you to put in your best to be among the lucky ones to be picked for a professional football career in Europe. For those who will be selected, be a good ambassador of Nigeria in wherever country you find yourself, try to be useful to yourself. your parents and your country. And for those who may not make it this time, continue to develop your self, face your study and shun drugs and evil vices’.
Further, he said, ‘as you can see, we have coaches and FIFA licensed football scouts who are here to assist you. We want to help you to develop and rise to stardom in football.’ he concluded.
Also speaking, one of Nigeria’s greatest football exports, Amb. John Fashanu, said, ‘football today, is rise to wealth, it is the quickest way to riches, youth playing in clubs in Europe are making millions weekly, Nigeria, has a lot of young skilful footballers, collaboration is required to exposed these youth to the opportunities abound in football.
We need collaborations between clubs, organisations and wealth Nigerians to harness the football potentials in this country for the glory of all Nigerians.’
He commended Ned Nwoko Foundation for taking the bull by the horn, by sponsoring the nationwide scouting exercise in Delta State and disclosed that the scouts are FIFA licensed agents of major football clubs in Europe, including but not limited to the Spanish football giant, Real Madrid FC.
Also speaking to the press, the Team Manager of 60 Goals Global, the organiser of the scouting trial (60 Goals Soccer Star Project), Coach Alex Nwankwo, stated that the purposes of the nationwide trial is to provide a platform for young talented footballers in Nigeria to be discovered and assisted to get contracts in the lucrative European football leagues.
He added that they have conducted similar exercise in Lagos State, that Delta State is the second among the six states they plan to run the program.
He thanked Prince (Dr) Ned Nwoko for sponsoring the program in Delta State and added that the exercise will be conducted regularly.
Story written by Iroroh Frank