• Sat. May 18th, 2024

NFF inaugurates FIFA Talent development scheme in Benin City.


May 6, 2024 ,

…NFF Technical Director, Austin Eguavoen assures of a sustainable and transparent programme.

By Sharon Ekhiwere

The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) on Saturday in Benin City kicked off the FIFA talent development scheme(TDS), platinumnewsng.com is reporting.

The event which took place at the main bowl of the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium in Benin City witnessed the technical director of the NFF, Coach Austin Eguavoen leading the delegation to Edo State.

The ex-Super Eagles gaffer stated that the programme was birthed by the soccer governing body, FIFA, who have made it mandatory for under 17 World Cup to be played yearly by both boys and girls from 2025, thus the need to design a scheme to drive the new agenda. As a result of this, the Talent Development Scheme(TDS) was initiated.

In Edo State, the NFF aims to work with the state Football Association to scout 35 players for boys and girls and then train them regularly.
The teams are to play interstate tournaments for opportunities to be selected for the regional team, while a similar path also leads to the national office or team which will be based in Abuja.

Coach Augustine Eguavoen stated, “We had a stakeholders meeting last year, where FIFA told us about grassroots development. Based on this, we are in its implementation state now, we are scouting to see how we can form a formidable team and create partway for them to become super Falcons and Super Eagles players in the future.”

“We are here in Benin today, I was in Abeokuta, Ogun State on Friday and some of my colleagues were in Jos, Gombe and some other states. The FIFA guys will be visiting on Monday, they’ll be here for about a week and when they leave, the programme continues. It’s just to look for talents that will be given opportunities no matter where you’re from to become a national team player in the future.”

“The programme promises to be beneficial to the entire country because we are not limiting this programme to just Benin City or Edo State or a particular state, we’re going to the length and breadth of the country to have these players scouted.”

For the structure of the programme, he stated that the Edo State FA like every other state FA is saddled with the responsibility of carrying out the scouting into the Interiors of the state from the capital cities, while the NFF will supervise the programme. The players are Under 15 so they are expected to be in school so pieces of training cannot be every day. Training will be on weekends and during holidays. With this, selecting players in the future for the national team wouldn’t be a problem.

“From state levels, we’ll get the best amongst the players we don’t want to exceed players, 30 outfield players and 5 goalkeepers at every given time. After that, we go into geo-political zones which is 6, and then a centre in Abuja, with this, we’re going to have over 200 players training at the same time, same training content, the same programme now and then. If you are not doing well at the national centre, you drop to the zones, if you aren’t doing well at the zones, you’ll drop to the state”

Coach Augustine Eguavoen assured that FIFA is huge and sustainability is guaranteed, and then with this NFF administration led by Alhaji Musa Gusau, the technical committee, the board members and every member of the NFF, he highlighted that they’ll do their best to ensure that the programme is sustained.

The inauguration of the programme at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium saw notable personalities like the state FA Chairman, Mr Fred Newton Erhunmunse, the State head coach, Mr Osayomore Aghaowa, Coach Monday Eguavoen ( MON), Coach Roland Ewere, Mr Sylvester okungbowa ( Chairman, Edo State Football referees Association), Coach Austin Iyamu and many other youths Club Coaches.

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