Nigerian youngsters dreaming of making a professional career out of football will move a step closer to realising this dream when they head to top English sides Manchester United and Everton courtesy of Super Eagles skipper Nwankwo Kanu through the Kamp Kanu project.
The Kamp Kanu project which kicked off late last year will be holding the third edition in Jos this week, with Kanu storming the Plateau State capital to lend his considerable weight behind venture.
According to Ikemefuna Mordi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of International Sports Management Africa Ltd (ISMA), the company, which holds the Kamp Kanu franchise, the deal was struck last week between his company and the two clubs last week.
“Yes we can announce that the two clubs (Everton and Manchester United) have agreed to take our products for trails with them. We (Kamp Kanu) will pick up all the bills for the youngsters travelling to the UK.”
He once again reiterated that only the most outstanding youngsters would be pencilled down for the trip because of the need for them to maintain the high standards demanded from the English clubs.
“Even then there is no 100 percent guarantee that all of the kids will eventually make the grade. But the onus is on us to give them a more than even chance by ensuring only the very best of them are sent there,” he explained.
According to Mordi, former Manchester United great Bryan McClair, who is now in charge of the club’s youth academy, is very delighted with the prospect of getting young talent from Nigeria into the academy.
“He (McClair) had just come back from a scouting trip to South America and expressed his readiness to do same with Nigeria and Africa if we (Kamp Kanu) are able to convince them that there are abundant talent on the continent.”
Mordi, who expressed his amazement at the training facilities owned by both clubs, said Everton, was equally delighted with the arrangement because they are already more than pleased with the performance of their African contingent led by the Nigerian stars – Joseph Yobo, Yakubu Aiyegbeni and Victor Anichebe.
“I must confess if we (Nigeria) had the same training facilities they (Everton and United) have then we would be able to dominate world football for the next 30 years. They are truly amazing facilities.”
THISDAYSports learnt that Kamp Kanu had already pencilled down 20 kids chosen from the first two exercises carried out in Lagos and Benin and was looking to add 10 more from the Jos outing.
“We will then invite all of them down to Lagos for a final screening, were we intend to select the best 10 of them.” They will then head out to the UK next month.
We will take care of all their expenses during their stay abroad,” explained Mordi.
Meanwhile, Mr Graham Morgan a former Head of Global Grassroots for adidas, who is helping with the selection process, is expected to arrive the country tomorrow morning.
The former manger of the England U-18s has already been in the country twice to help pencil down players from Kamp Kanu I and II and will be heading to Jos later in the day.
The Plateau State government has thrown its weight behind the initiative and to further show its support Governor (JO) will be hosting the Kamp Kanu team at the Government House on Wednesday morning.
A very delighted Kanu was full of praise for the Plateau State government for supporting efforts at discovering a new generation of youngsters for the country.
“I’m really delighted that the governor is taking time off from his busy schedule to identify with the project. It will go a long way in showing the youth that the government takes their well being seriously,” said the former youth international.
Finch Farm Opens It Doors To Kanu Football Camp
2 replies to this topic
Posted 07 Jul 2008 - 14:11
Posted 07 Jul 2008 - 14:40
It's good that we're involved in this sort of thing. Not only will it give these kids an amazing opportunity but it will improve our image and we may even get a star player for the future out of it. A good move all round I reckon.
Posted 07 Jul 2008 - 16:59
fair play to everton for allowing that, and i agree with mark, hope we get a star out of it
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