Football is now one of the most entertaining sports in the world, it is being watched and participated in by millions all over the world.
Footballers are also one of the highest paid sportsmen in the world. They earn as high as 400,000 pounds per week and this will keep increasing in the future.
Gone are the days when footballers were not being appreciated with this high salary per week. Footballers now drive the most expensive cars, live in expensive houses and live an expensive life.
Football has also created other opportunities for earning which does not require you to necessarily be a footballer to earn from the sport. There are other opportunities also involved in this sport. Football analysts, sport commentators, transfer agents, coaching, referees e.t.c are other means of earning through football.
Entrepreneurs have taken advantage of the lucrativeness of Football business, they now create FOOTBALL ACADEMIES to build quality players and make profit from the transfer market.
There are various Football Academies in Nigeria and most of them have successfully developed quality footballers that have proven themselves in various clubs all over the world, most especially in England and Europe. These academies have helped young boys and girls develop their talents and turned their hobbies into a profession.
Our country has taken advantage of this opportunity and by that, they created football academies to produce top players in the world. However, many parents are not willing to take hold of such opportunities or many don’t know about such great opportunity so they do not send their ward to the academies.
Nigeria has great talents but many are not groomed, if parents or guardians take hold of this academy opportunity given them, surely Nigeria will keep on producing top players that might one day compete for the title of the best in the world.
We can boast of many stars in Nigeria that was made by these academies, our former captain John Obi Mikel was a product of an academy.
Let us look at some top Football Academies in Nigeria that have great facilities, qualified coaches, and exposed;
1 PEPSI FOOTBALL ACADEMY
Pepsi Football Academy is one of the earliest football academies in Nigeria. The football academy is owned by Pepsi and was founded in 1994 by Kashimawo Laloko.
It is a very popular academy in Africa and not only Nigerians are found there. This academy can boast of over 300 students aged between 6-18 years with over 56 coaches.
The Football Academy is one of the most popular and every young footballer wish to start from there because of the exposure it has already. The academy has produced much well known good quality players that have proven themselves home and abroad.
Among the football players Pepsi has produced, we have our former national captain John Obi Mikel who can be said to be the wealthiest player in Nigeria right now, Joseph Akpala and Sunday Mba. You can visit their website at www.pepsifootballacademy.com.
This academy is located in different places, Km 4, Shagamu/Abeokuta exp way, Muritala Mohammed square independence way opposite Hamdala Hotel, Western boys high school Ikpoba Hill Benin city, Edo state. These are the various locations of this academy.
2 BARCELONA FOOTBALL ACADEMY (FCBESCOLA)
This academy is a Lagos based academy that accept kids from ages 5-18 years. There are over 400 students in the academy now. Students here are being trained to play with the famous Barca style of play and also aimed at developing them on and off the field just like the Barcelona team.
They are highly equipped with facilities and experienced coaches to assist them achieve their vision. You can contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Their address is at Teslim Balogun stadium complex, Surulere Lagos state.
3 MIDAS FOOTBALL ACADEMY
This academy was founded in the year 2006 by Bayonle Arashi. This is one great school for grooming potentials that partake in different tournaments across and outside the country making it easy for students with high and promising spirits and talents for football to make it professionally.
This would not have made the list of top academies in Nigeria if it doesn’t have high quality facilities and experienced coaches. Log on to their website at www.midasfootballacademy.com.
Address is at Gospel camp training ground Command Ipaja Lagos.
4 CHELSEA FOOTBALL ACADEMY
This academy came into existence after the team chose Nigeria and other Africa countries worthy of their camps. This is a temporary academy for Nigerians as you still have to go to the Chelsea school abroad if you really want to play professionally and internationally with this academy.
The camp is located in Victoria island and admits youths between the ages 15-18. After their training and selection, the youths will join the club feeders team in the United Kingdom (London).
5 KWARA FOOTBALL ACADEMY
It was founded in 2005 and owned by the government. This was formed as an initiative of the Bukola Saraki led administration. This academy acts as both an educational facility and a sporting center, i.e, you learn as you train.
It is a great choice for boys in Kwara from ages 10-20. This team currently has 7 coaches. Some of its players have been called for try outs at Chelsea fc and also Portsmouth fc, some are currently playing in teams outside the continent of Africa and three of its players were among the 2009 u-17 team who won the silver medal at the u-17 world cup.
You can visit them on www.kfailorin.com, and locate them at Kwara state Stadium Complex, Ilorin.
6 PAPILO FOOTBALL ACADEMY
This foundation was founded by Nigeria former soccer start Kanu Nwankwo popularly known as “Papilo”. It was founded in the year 2001 and has produced the stars which include Stanley Okoro and Joel Obi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Chidiebere Nwakali.
This academy got promoted to Nigeria National league within the space of 3years. Many players from the academy were used to form the Papilo football club which is now in the national league and has built connections with Leeds united, London.
This connection was made possible due to its produce of quality players which was achieved as a result of their experienced and quality coaches and their facilities. It is located in Owerri, Imo state. You can visit them at www.papilofcacademy.com for more info.
7 ABUJA COLLEGE OF FOOTBALL
This was founded in the year 2012 as a result of Gabriele Volpi idea. Abuja College of Footbal is based in Abuja but has other affiliates in Lagos, Warri and Onne in Port Harcourt. This is to show that it embraces students from different cities in different parts of the nation. It can be located at 52 Yedesram st, Maitama, Abuja, Nigeria.
8 SIAONE SOCCER ACADEMY
This is also located in Abuja and founded by former Super Eagles coach Samson Siasia. It is one of the best in the nation and can boasts of professional coaches.
The academy participates in tournaments within and outside the country. This academy produces elite players and youths that are very passionate and want to develop their football skills.
It can be found at Suite 21/1 Abuja National Stadium, and Plot 2033 Olusegun Obasanjo Way, Zone 7, Wuse, Abuja. You can visit their website at www.siaonesocceracademy.com.
9 EDUSKO SPORTS ACADEMY
This was founded by Chief Segun Odegbami in 2007 and it is currently one of the best academies in the country. This sport center also has facilities for other sporting activities like basketball, table tennis e.t.c.
The study duration of this academy is 6 years. This is Nigeria`s first and if possible, only multi-sports secondary school in Nigeria. It gives intensive academic and sporting training to boys and girls who have the passion and talents of sports. This academy is located in Ogun state.
It is located at 54km from Muritala Muhammed intl Airpot and 26km from Abeokuta, off the Abeokuta- Sango Otta- Lagos New Express Road, Ogun State. You can also visit www.edusko.com for more details.
10 LITTLE TIGERS FC
Kids can come to this academy as early as 3 years. It also accepts kids who are not more than the age of 15 years and organizes friendlies with teams within the nation especially within its zone. It was founded in the year.
This academy is strictly for kids and is located in Lekki, Lagos state. they are aimed at providing high quality experience for every young athlete. They try to create equal opportunities for every athlete regardless of their age, gender, ability or ethnicity.
The address is at No 3, Ayodele Odubiyi st, Etiosa, Lagos and their website is at www.littletigersfc.com
Some of them are:
- Paddysco sports academy
- Ambassadors football
- Ayicrip football academy
- Buruj sports academy
- Lekki junior strikers academy
- Milo football academy
- Dynaspro sports academy e.t.c
Above, we have seen the top ten football academies in Nigeria. The various academies have made it their goal to accommodate all players and train them professionally so as to compete with others around the globe.
Many of the academies have made room for female players also and for kids around ages of 3 so as to build them up in various ways like sportsmanship and team work.
There are many other academies but they cannot boast of such great facilities like these 10 academies. Lagos alone has over 20 academies but majority are upcoming academies.
Our telecommunication networks and some oil exploring companies are not also left out as they also try to groom talents in the nation. For example
- MTN football academy
- Glo football academy
- Airtel football academy
- Total football academy e.t.c.
Each state can boast of at least 10 football academies which help them groom their young talents to play for the states team, national team and also to play internationally.
It is of no doubt that some top European clubs have partnered with some Nigeria states in order to build a well facilitated academy for example, Real Madrid of Spain has been in partnership with Rivers state to build an academy there.
Parents should be made aware of the academies close by and try to take their wards who have passion for football to help them groom their talents. As it was stated earlier, football is now highly appreciated and many earn a living through it, many family lives have been transformed from it.