I’ll always be of the opinion that football is the only sport in Nigeria that has the ability of uniting the nation for at least 90minutes. Gone are the days when football was seen as a sport for paupers and street urchins. Football is now seen as big business and good footballers who earn millions daily, are now the talk of the town.
To increase the number of footballing talents being churned out by the country yearly, a number of football academies have sprang up and have been engaged in constantly producing young football stars. Players who were discovered in these football academies have gone on to play for the Super eagles of Nigeria and for various prestigious clubs across Europe.
Below are a few standard football academies in Nigeria.
Pepsi Football Academy
Pepsi football academy is among the pioneer football academies to be established in Nigeria. The academy was formed by Pepsi although it was the brainchild of Lain Nelson who was then the marketing director of the company in the country. Pepsi football academy started in Lagos but has since spread his wings to various other parts of the country. There are about 3500 cadet footballers registered under Pepsi.
Football stars such as Mikel John Obi, Joseph Akpala, EldersonEchiejile, TaiwoAwoniyi and many more were discovered in the Pepsi football academy.
Football College Abuja(FCA)
Football College Abuja is one of the best football college in the country. The Academy is well funded and has some of the best footballing prospects under its ranks. FCA was established in 2012 and headed by Gabriel Newton who wasa FIFA Licensed instructor. Football College Abuja were winners of the MladenRamljak International youth club football tournament held in Croatia this year.
Players such as Sadiq Umar and NuraAbdullahi are two of Football college Abuja graduates who play in European club Roma. Other graduates have also found their way to the ranks of top European clubs.
Papilo Football Aacademy
Papilo football academy is the brainchild of Nigeria and Super eagles’ football legend, Kanu Nwankwo. He started the academy in a bid to give young football talent a level playing field and all the best footballing facilities he never had as a kid growing up.
Papilo football academy is a subdivision of Papilo football club which is currently doing well in the Nigerian National League. The most notable graduate of the Papilo football academy is Joel Obi who plays for Inter-Milan in Italy, although many other graduates from PFA have made their way to play in Europe.
Midas Football Academy
According to www.midasfootballacademy.com, Midas football academy is a football academy based in Lagos Nigeria, whose goal is to train and produce young, quality and talented footballers from Nigeria who can go on to become world beaters.
Midas football academy helps young footballers horn their skills and also link them to scouts of top European clubs from whence they can now be snapped up by European club.
Midas academy has some of the best football training facilities which helps in actualizing their mission.
Phildan Football Academy
Phildan FootballAcademy is a quality football academy which focuses on training and bringing the best out of young footballers within the age bracket of 8-28years of age. Their mission is to ensure that every young footballer who is willing to showcase their talent is given the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Phildan football academy claims to be in contact with top football scouts all over Africa and Europe who can help take their graduates to top football clubs around the globe.
Edo State Academicals
Edo State football academy is one of the leading football academies in the country today because of the amount of outstanding talent which have been discovered by this football academy. Just like most quality football academies around the world, the mission of Edo state academicals is to nurture young football talents into becoming world beaters.
The Edo State football academy seems to have achieved its mission when one of her prospects was named the most valuable player at the 2013 Under-17 World cup and later got signed to English premier league side Manchester City. That player is none other than Kelechi Iheanacho. Isaac Success who plays for Watford in the premier league is also a graduate of Edo state football academy.
The above listed football academies are some of the best in the country, although we have a few other soccer academies that are also doing great in grooming football young talents in the country. Tell us those you know in the comments section.