April 13, 2024

Moses Simon via Simoiben on Facebook

There are hundreds of football academies in Nigeria at the moment but these are some of the academies whose owners are current or ex-footballers.

Omeruo Football Academy, Abuja

Owned by Super Eagles defender Kenneth Omeruo, the Omeruo Football Academy has its base in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja, where the player started his football career.

Last year, two players from the academy, Obinna Okere Martins and Kargbo Samuel joined Spanish Segunda Division club CD Leganes where Omeruo plays for the seniors.

Omeruo and two of his academy players via Score

The defender who was formerly on the books of Chelsea said his aim of setting up the academy was to help the boy-child, and train youngsters who will go ahead to Europe and become champions.

Simoiben Football Academy, Kaduna

Simoiben Football Academy was formed in 2019 by Nantes FC of France and Super Eagles winger, Moses Simon. He said at the launch that the academy was birthed to help nurture next generation football talents for the country.

Although the ex-Levante player was born in Jos, but he decided to have the academy in Kaduna, his home town.

Moses Simon via Simoiben Facebook Page

Some of the academy players have signed professional contracts abroad while others have represented the nation at junior level such as Emmanuel Michael, impressed at the recently held WAFU U17 championship in Ghana.

Imperial Football Academy, Ogun state

Imperial Football Club (IFC) was birthed on 1st August, 2009 in Lagos but later moved to Odogbolu in Ogun State in 2010.

The academy was formed by ex-Nigeria international and Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder, Seyi Olofinjana alongside Bankole Atiba in a bid to mould the lives of aspiring professional before, during and after their professional careers.

Imperial FA currently play in the Nationwide League (NLO) as well as a private league The Creative Championship. The academy has produced players who have gone ahead to conquer the world and play for top professional clubs in Europe such as Tawio Awoniyi who recently signed for Premier League side, Nottingham FC while some others play in the Nigeria Professional league.

Dosu Joseph Football Academy, Lagos

After the abrupt end of his football career due to an auto crash in 1997, Dosu Joseph proceeded to management where he became the head Coach of Westerlo Football Academy. He was the only home-based player who made the trip to Atlanta 1996 Olympics where Nigeria won gold. His heroics at the tournament lingers in the heart of many till date.

According to Dosu, Westerlo was formed to give opportunity to young boys who are willing to earn a living through football and was affiliated to Westerlo FC in Belgium. The Belgian side was coming to Nigeria from time to time to assess the players with a view of creating opportunity to showcase their talent abroad.

Some of the academy graduates are Rasheed Alabi , Dele Adeley, Moses Adams, Jamiu Alimi, and Emmanuel Sarki.

The academy is now known as Dosu Joseph Football Academy.

John Utaka Academy, Minna

The academy is owned by former Portsmouth FC and Lille of France forward, John Utaka. Following a successful career, he has now moved fully into coaching becoming a Youth Coach at one of his former clubs Montpellier.

John Utaka via Portsmouth.co.uk

The academy wants to provide young talented Nigerian footballers the opportunity to showcase their talent to the world. In fulfilling this vision, the academy from time to time send some of its players on tour abroad.

The academy founded by a former Super Eagles star, John Utaka is due to play a series of friendly matches with youth clubs in France including Lyon, Nice, Monaco, Strasbourg and Montpellier, where Utaka is presently an assistant coach.

Papilo Football Academy, Owerri

Papilo Academy was founded in 2000, with the aim of grooming young players and training them to become full-grown pro footballers. It was reported by the club that its financier, former Super Eagle and Arsenal player, Kanu Nwankwo had injected around a tune of N100million into the academy.

Photo via Papilo Football Academy

The academy said its purpose is in line with Kanu Nwankwo’s career path, as the Arsenal legend was nurtured through a similar system. This had seen the club developed a handful of talented players that have progressed to the national team levels, such as Kelechi Iheanacho and Chidiebere Nwakali.

Papilo Football Academy has won the State FA Cup in 2016, got promoted to the National League from Nationwide One in the same year, and has been two-time finalists in the State FA Cup.

The club currently plays in the country’s third division known as the Nigeria Nationwide League (NLO).

2 thoughts on “Nigerian football academies owned by footballers

  1. It’s just nice to have you supporting soccer it much.. I wish I could have a chance to join your academy…. I may not be perfect in soccer..But football is a talent to me .. I can do what other great players can do…Am much determined…I wish I can have that chance

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