Philantropist and the owner of Remo Stars, Chief Kunle Soname has revealed plans to seal a collaborative partnership with the Portuguese Football Federation that will help in the area of manpower and human capacity development by the time the world class football academy takes off in Ikenne, Ogun State.
Chief Soname who was a guest of the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare at his office in Abuja enumerated that the facilities at the ongoing site of the Football Academy in Ikenne would compete favourably with any academy anywhere in the world including Europe.
According to Soname: “We have everything you will see in a European Academy. We have got four working standard pitches. We also have accommodation for 108 players. We have got a 30 room hotel for scouts and also 10 flats for coaches to be at ease when they come.”
The business tycoon went ahead to explain how the academy intends to take off and it’s focal objectives in the next couple of years. He also stressed that the players fished out will have the chance to take their soccer skills to Europe without necessarily playing for any of the national teams.
“We are going to bring four European coaches from Portugal and our domestic coaches will be added to them so that they can start teaching these boys from ages 14 to 15. We know that it is a four year programme and when we take them by ages 14 or 15, by four years they will be 18 or 19 years old and should be ready for the rigour of professional football.
“…Playing for the national team is a means to an end and what is that end? It is to play abroad but if I can take my players directly to Europe I don’t think playing for the national team is a priority for me. With what we are doing, we hope before next summer, we will be in best position to invite the Honourable Minister to come and help commission it.”
Chief Soname revealed how the collaboration with the Portuguese Football Federation will look like and what the participants at the seminars/trainings will benefit at the long run.
“We will be collaborating with the Portuguese Football Federation to send us coaches, nutritionists, physiotherapists among others and with these, we will now call on everybody because it will be free. We can sponsor it.
“The foreign experts will come and teach our people and those trained will take the same to their areas and help train those under their jurisdiction so that way, the knowledge is deepened. We are hopeful that we can turn the corner in the next two years,” He disclosed.