Over 250 young footballers will be influenced at Footballers Connect, an initiative designed to foster connections between professionals and youngsters in the game of football.
The event is organised in a bid to change the mindset of Nigerian youths with regards to their ambitions in making it big in the round leather game, which sometimes turn into desperation and have an overbearing effect on their decisions, thus leaving them less or not prepared for hurdles ahead.
According to Hay Sports, organisers of Footballers Connect, lot of ill-advised decisions made by young professionals in the past - and present - saw their reason to step in the gap
The event themed ‘Dream yet Live’ has been scheduled for 15th December, 2018 inside the Conference Hall, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos.
The conference sessions are augmented with presentations from current professionals, ex-internationals and football administrators. There also will be networking opportunities and several other engaging, fun activities are lined up, some culminating to the young footballers standing chances to win useful sporting gears.
Fittingly, the panel has representatives from the major divisions in the sport, ranging from federation bosses, former internationals, team administrators, to active professionals.
Ex-Inter and AC Milan defender Taribo West leads the team of ex-professionals which includes 1996 Atalanta Olympics star Dosu Joseph and Matthew Edafe [ex-footballer turned broadcaster].
Meanwhile, former Spain prodigy and Nigeria international Sunday Stephen tops the pile of top-flight professionals who would use their wealth of experience to mentor the youngsters. Professionals from Asia and Turkish top-flight will also get to lend their unique voices to topical, contemporary issues young footballers are faced with at different stages of their careers.
“We look to change and affect the thought system of the ordinary Nigerian youth in a positive way such that there is a different approach towards chasing greener pastures, says Amos Joseph, strategist for Hay Sports.
“What we have realized overtime is that Nigerians just want to ‘escape’ without a plan, which is not the best way to emigrate from your comfort zone. Young players travel out of Nigeria to distant countries where they have no one to assist or help them. Some have been lured by fake intermediaries who pretend to have a deal for them, but on getting to the destination the story is not the same.
“Some players are not ready for the challenge. In terms of preparation for trials, hence the need for us to involve the coaches to also benefit in this conference. As it is often said, you cannot give what you don’t have. They will get to learn from the experiences of players who have been there and have seen it all at the biggest stage.
“To answer this queries, we have invited player who ply their trades in different ends of the world, Asia, America, Europe and other parts of the world to join us in making this difference and help prepare players for the task ahead.”