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Okocha, Westerhof, Kojo for football Academy

Posted by By Tony Ubani on 2005/07/06 | Views: 7142 |

Okocha, Westerhof, Kojo for football Academy

THE names of the Directors of the School of Excellence are heavyweights. They are professionals in football and education. Perhaps, that explains the name, School of Excellence.

THE names of the Directors of the School of Excellence are heavyweights. They are professionals in football and education. Perhaps, that explains the name, School of Excellence.

The Chief Executive Officer of the College is Mr Anthony Kojo Williams, former FA Chairman and a member of a FIFA committee. Clemens Westerhof is the College’s Rector and the Chief Administrator. Jan Van Deinsen, a very experienced coach will head the Technical Department as the Head coach. Miss Abimbola Sotuminu serves as the Educational Consultant. Super Eagles captain, Austin Jay Jay Okocha is also a Director of the College.

With these men behind the steering, a brand new academy, the Football College of Education was unfolded to the Press yesterday with former Technical Adviser of the Super Eagles, Clemens Westerhof signing a five-year contract to produce stars that would definitely take over from such established stars like Okocha, Kanu, Aghahowa etc. Westerhof, who steered Nigeria to her first World Cup finals in 1994 in the USA and a gold medal at the Nations Cup in Tunisia same year still brims with enthusiasm that he has unfinished business to complete in the Country he says, makes him feel Nigerian.

“I like challenges. Many people are bound to ask can he do it again? Yes. I can do it again because in the School of Excellence in Kwara, we’ll put right people in right places. I owe a lot to Nigeria. It is this country that taught me how to be patient. They always tell you, Ok, no problem.

And you can wait for them for years before you realise there is a problem. But you are not going to see that bullish Dutchman in me, again. I’ll change because we are dealing with children. Now I play a father to the children. And those children will be catered for as if they are your children”, he explained excitedly about the pet project, the brain child of former FA Chairman, Anthony Kojo Williams with the financial backing of Kwara State Governor, Bukola Saraki whose vision for sports was praised to high heavens by Kojo.

The School, once operational, would have its headquarters in Ilorin with centres in Ibadan, Benin, Warri, Kaduna, Lagos, Jos, Aba, Port Harcourt and Enugu. Kojo put the cost of training a child in the school for $35,000 a year. The students will be on scholarship but each applicant must pay N10,000 for the forms. Kojo explained that they would combine football with education.

The Football College of Excellence which would be inaugurated in October 2005, is a top class football institution where young footballers will be prepared for professional careers abroad. “We aim to ensure that each student has at their disposal the very best resources to excel in their football while being offered a comprehensive management of their career delivered with integrity, excellence and a personal touch”, Williams said.

The Dutchman, who had been involved in developing young players, said the chance to play a key role in what would be a unique Nigerian football experiment has rejuvenated his love for the game.

“I worked with the youth academy at Feyenoord in Holland and with Umtata Bush Bucks in South Africa, but they were not serious there in South Africa. The plan here is beautiful. Football is not only played with legs. You play more with brains.
We want to bring children with intelligence to play football. And you will see how different it will be,” Westerhof said.

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Comments (3)

Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.