. . . Concludes 2019 Scouting Programme at Abuja… DOSAD, Bishop Ezeokafor Applauded for Youth Sports Apostolate
By Chinecherem Efobi
A group of high profile European Club officials, scouts, agents and intermediaries, working under a unified front, Diamond Sports Management, UK (DSM), has once again begun the process of securing football contracts for young Nigerian footballers, after a four-day-packed scouting programme, November 24-27, 2019 at Abuja. The tournament held at the Goal Project Football, Astro-turf, at the Package B, Moshood Abiola International Stadium (National Stadium), Abuja.
A top international Football Intermediary, and Chief Executive Officer of DSM, Cem Sagar led a retinue of those top notch football personnel to Abuja, a service he has been doing to Nigeria football for a couple of years now. Among the visiting group are: Jorge Garcia, Director at Interstar Deporte (Spain Agency), Rafael Ruiz Ortiz of Deportivo Alaves Spain, Alberto Lasante of UD Almeria Spain and Sergio Gonee of Levante UD also of Spain. Some others included Danilo Arrieta from Denmark, Thomas Caers of SV Zulte Waregem Belgium and Vicente Portal of Famalicao Portugal. Also in the crew was Chukwuma Nwankwo, Chief Consultant of DSM West Africa, the duo of Directors of Kings Football Management (KFM), Bobby Chumtan and David Amanyi. On ground also was the representative of the sponsors of the scouting programme, Rev Fr Obinna Dike of DOSAD Sports.
The following ten clubs and teams scaled through a month long pre-screening across eight venues in Nigeria to participate in the finals. They were; DOSAD Football Academy, Right 2 Win Football Academy, Kings Football Club, Daca Football Club, Usyak Football Club and Royals Stars Football Club. Others were Jobi Sports, Ikon Allah Football Club, P.C.Oxford Football Club and D. Bells Academy. Also in the programme was a special pre/selected football team named Diamond All Stars, which was assembled and coached by Cem Sagar less than one week prior to the tournament proper.
Kings Football Club and Diamond All Stars topped groups A and B respectively, while DOSAD and Usyak came second in those groups by goal differences. Kings Football Club eventually edged the Diamond team on penalty shoot out to lift the tournament trophy.
Twenty two players were shortlisted for the tournament first and second eleven, from where ten of them got direct football contracts in Europe. Another four were billed for further training assessment in Europe soon. The details of the privileged players and their destinations will be published in our subsequent report.
Speaking to FIDES Newspaper, the tournament Director Cem Sagar, said he and his group believed in Nigerian players and were investing heavily to get as many fantastic football talents to Europe as soon as possible. “I have been in Nigeria a couple of years now with this hardworking team. We have heavily invested and are still investing in Nigerian and African talents. We are gradually changing to best possible dynamics of football market to get the best results for both players, teams, sponsors, and of course our scouting group. It is a patient enterprise that focuses more on talent development initially and the big investment returns later. We are working assiduously to raise a football agency empire that will be the best in the world in a couple of years from now” Cem said.
In the evaluation meeting with DOSAD Director Rev Fr Obinna Dike, who is the sponsors' representative, DSM Boss Cem Sagar assured DSM investors through DOSAD of good return for their investment as the Agency was getting stronger by the day. Sagar said patience and right investment were the principles guiding the program. He applauded the sponsors of DSM programmes for reposing confidence in the company, and assured that the indices of activities with selected players so far showed significant progress. He reiterated that getting as many players as possible was the mantra of the Agency at the moment.
Sergio Gonee is in charge of Levante UD Spain. He was a first time visitor to Nigeria and was very happy and elated at the hospitality of the Nigerian people and the talent on ground. He promised to work hard to secure contracts for excellent Nigerian players both now and in the future. Thomas Caers of SV Zulte Waregem Belgium, also a first timer, praised tournament for its quality. He also assured of moving talented Nigerian players to Europe if they maintained their form.
Danilo Arrieta also visited Nigeria for the first time. He is a football scout and agent with his market being the Scandinavian Europe (Denmark, Sweden, Germany and the likes). He summed up his thoughts on the tournament as “with good players anything can happen. We have seen some quality players here in Abuja, and it is left to us to do our job well” Arrieta said. Corroborating what Danilo said, Vicente Portal of Portugal attested to the good tournament at Abuja. He promised that he and his team would try their possible best to get their own side of the job done.
Speaking to Fides after receiving the award on behalf of the sponsors of the tournament, Rev Fr Obinna Dike praised DSM UK for a well arranged developmental scouting programme. He also commended the various sponsors of the DSM programmes he has been representing since 2018, for believing and investing in Nigerian football talents, through DOSAD Sports, the sports department of the Catholic Diocese of Awka. Fr Dike who is the Director of DOSAD, commended in a very special way, Most Rev Dr Paulinus Ezeokafor, the Catholic bishop of Awka Diocese and his team, for not only encouraging sports through DOSAD projects, but also committing fund to sponsor some scouting programmes as a way of promoting youth apostolate for God. Fr Dike praised KFM for also facilitating the programmes expertly, as well as Fides Newspaper for being a sports development partner with DOSAD.
The contract processes of selected players are currently being processed.