President of the Diamond Football Academy, Hon. Martin Apugo, says the outfit remains committed to give hope to young and talented players by giving them the opportunity to excel in their football career.
NationSport reports that the Umuahia-based academy periodically organizes tournaments, inviting scouts from Europe to watch some of the good players. The tournaments also afford football teams across the country opportunity to showcase their players for export in top clubs in Europe.
Another talent hunt tournament was also rounded off at the academy's training ground in Ladu Ndume, Umuahia, Abia State, where Manchester United scouts and other scouts across Europe were amazed by the skills displayed by the young stars whose ages range from 14 to 20 years.
Speaking during the tournament, Apogu said part of his passions for the academy is because it pays in terms of youth development in the areas of football, a feat that saw the emergence of some young players, including Kelechi Nwakali, who captained Nigeria's U-17 team to win the 2015 Cadet World Cup in Chile, and Samuel Chukwueze, who won the Adidas Bronze Boot for scoring the fastest goal in the same championship.
He promised to continue to do more in order to give upcoming stars the opportunity to excel in Nigeria's national team and Europe.
'I have no regrets because it is my passion to develop talents. At Diamond Academy, we have coaches who came from Europe and Nigeria National Team. You have no excuse to perform even at the world Football stage as a player,' Apugo said.
While presenting gift items to some of the players at the end of the tournament, Manchester United scout, Jonny Pieters, lauded the level of progress and impact of the Academy in terms of capacity building.
He noted that Diamond Football Academy has raised the standard high with the exposure they give to the youths in Nigeria.
He, however, felt impressed by the quality and skills showcased by few players of Diamond Football Academy and looked forward to possible collaborations with the academy.
'They are really the best in terms of quality. I appreciate the three days and I understand how difficult it is in Nigeria. I saw few talents and I love the organization and quality in the team,' he said.
Some of the revelations since the inception of the tournament include Samuel Chukwueze who plays in the Super Eagles of Nigeria and currently engaged in the on-going 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt and Kelechi Nwakali.
© Pakistan Press International, source Asianet-Pakistan