The Founder and Owner of Aspire Football Club of Adazi Nnukwu, Dr. Emeka Okeke has said that he is channeling his efforts towards building and development of football economy in Anambra state.
He disclosed this to newsmen at the Under 15 screening exercise organized by Aspire football club to select talented players that will represent Anambra state at the national level selection process before the actual competition in Bayern Munich, Germany in 2020 Youth challenge.
Dr. Emeka Okeke who has single handedly moulded Aspire FC to regional champions said that he has a natural plan for developing grassroot football in the state. He said that it is high time clubs in the state came together to form a formidable force in the Nigeria soccer arena and ensure that Anambra state have a representative club in each of the divisions in the country.
On why Aspire FC took up the challenge to sponsor the exercise, he said it was in line with what the Aspire football club has been doing for social development.
His statement” we found out that there are a lot of young people in the villages who football might be their only way out. And for the young boys, we want to provide the opportunities for them to come together, train and promote their talents in and outside Nigeria.
“We have bigger dreams for them as we are hoping that somebody from here will make the next Nigeria Under17 team in the future and at 18 will cross the shores of Nigeria to do greater thing for himself, his family and the country at large.”
The final 14 Players that will represent Anambra State at the National Finals in Lagos emerged from the 40 participants after series of testing and display of talents by the young players at the Neros stadium Nanka.
Speaking to newsmen after their selection, the project coordinator of Anambra State screening of Bayern Munich Youth Cup 2020, Mr. Ikechukwu Al Barney Amaku said that the essence of the exercise is to provide opportunity for minors in the game to gain valuable exposure and door-way to the national team to play.
Mr. Amaku said that Bayern Munich Youth Cup is an annual cup that is organized in Munich, Germany. He added that the competition is strictly for teenagers who are below the age of 16. His words: ” It is like a cadet cup. A screening process from the state level to the national and then international where the Under 16 players would be screened until they get to a particular number that would go to Germany. Every year people from all walks of life gather in Munich to celebrate the cup.
Meanwhile, the Team Manager of Aspire Football Club, Mr. Augustine Okoye noted that there are criteria for selecting the players that would represent the state including their physical fitness, tactical abilities, attitude and overall discipline. He said that there were players that have been dismissed for their poor attitude and abilities.
He informed further that the key interest of Aspire FC in the exercise was to give young boys opportunity to shine because it does not come easy. He said Aspire football club is a platform where young people can travel outside Nigeria to participate actively in global football.
One of the successful players chosen to represent the state, Chiadikaobi Nwamkpa from Ebonyi state said that football has been his passion and he has dreamt to one day become a professional footballer who would represent the country at the highest level. Nwankpa who said his idol is David Alaba commended Aspire FC who gave them level playing ground to showcase their true talents.
But another player Nwana Favour Chukwuemeka who was among the selected candidates attributed his success to his coach at star football academy Mgbakwu who has taught him everything he was good at on the field of play. He thanked the organizers who made the exercise successful and prayed that God should lead the team from Anambra to the final stage.