Copa Coca Cola provides platform for discovery of young talents, Adepoju

COPA Coca Cola
The schools at the Akure region had the pleasure of learning from the ex-Real Sociedad midfielder as the race to the national kicked off on Thursday

Former Nigeria international, Mutiu Adepoju is pleased with the opportunity Coca Cola has created to discover talents all over the country.

The former Super Eagles midfielder was the celebrity guest for the Akure region, as schools from Edo, Osun, Kogi, Oyo and Delta battle to qualify for the national finals of the 2017 edition of  Copa Coca Cola championship billed for Lagos.

And the 46-year-old, during the coaching clinic put youngsters through some basic knowledge of the game, and also encouraged them with his success story, which he feels is achievable with hard work and prayer.

"It is just part of what we are trying to preach, catch them young, teach them the basics from the young age like this, and it is a continuous process which Coca-Cola started long time ago," Adepoju told Goal.

"In the NPFL, we are just starting with the clubs because we believe that it is from schools these should be picking their young players, so that by the time they learn from this age (13-15), they would have been exposed to lots of information and skills which they will be able to utilize by the time they are 17 or 18 years of age, which I believe is part of the process.

"We have talents in Nigeria, and without seeing them play, just by touching the ball and their movement, we know that there are some potentials here, which if they are well tutored, they will be great players which is what we want.

"We can have over one thousand players, but not all of them will get to the top at the same time, but we must have the knowledge of players that have potentials so we can help them achieve their goals, and that is the reason behind the NPFL U15 competition which is a continuation of what Coca-Cola is doing and it's a great thing, and it is to help the country discover it's potentials at the very tender age. 

"It is not as if we are teaching them from the scratch, we are just trying to encourage them by telling them our own success stories, although we know their coaches must have taught them, we are just teaching them probably what the coaches must have missed in their various trainings - like team work.

Article continues below

"That was why we divided into groups and not teams so they can be friends and blend, and I believe that they have been able to pick few things from the little things they learnt during the clinic.''