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Sporting Gijon Rep Seeks Collaboration With Nigerian Sports Academy



Villasenor Lopez Israel, a director at Grupo Orlegi and representative of Spanish Segunda football club, Sporting Gijon, has expressed hope of collaborating with Nigerian sports academies stating that the country has sports talents.

Grupo Orlegi has varied interests in sports, entertainments and agro industries.

The Orlegi director made this disclosure in Ilorin, historical city capital of Kwara, North Central Nigeria, at at an upscale Whitefield Hotel.

The media briefing was put together by DollyP Sports Academy, one of the city’s high flying youths sports academy.

Israel was in town to hold exploratory talks with DollyP on Tuesday, barely days after five of his young talents were taken for trials in Europe.

Kwara is growing, leaps and bound in grassroots soccer, arguably has one of the largest concentration of private sector driven soccer grooming hubs.

“We were invited from Spain.

“We have known each other before now,” said Isreal (pictured right), speaking about Akeem Lateef, the sporting director of DollyP Sports Academy, and who happens to be an ex-professional footballer.

“We are looking for partnership and football talents. We have strong Commitment to improving the game.

“Nigeria has strong players, good strikers and some defenders that have made impact in the field,” Israel said.

President of DollyP Soccer Academy, Ahmed Yusuf (pictured left) said that the purpose of bringing the soccer interests from Spain is to expose his young talents to opportunities, training and retraining.

“It also offers opportunity for coaches, too.

“We need foreign  interests like these to see us and tell us where to improve,” Yusuf said.

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The academy president however added that running an academy is not without challenges.

According to him, getting parental consent needed to further a child’s career in football is proving to be so difficult because most parents still don’t see football as a career path and big business.

“In most of this instances when parents reluctantly let go of their wards, we almost always cater for everything,”

“These are some of the costs we bear in the business of grooming talents,” he said.

He also stated that it recently concluded a scouting program where five of his players were selected for further trials in Europe.

“some of them will get signed by clubs, we hope,” he added.

Lateef, the technical director also added that scouting and collaborative events is game changer in the world of football.

“Football changed my world.

“I became a professional footballer and it changed the fortunes of my family,” he said.



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