Budding stars who are currently undergoing training at the Asisat Oshoala Academy in Lagos have expressed their excitement at what the academy meant to their future career in life.
The all-girls football academy, which had admitted 30 students, is powered by Women Win and Nike, Inc. an American multinational corporation that is engaged in the design, development, manufacturing, and worldwide marketing and sales, footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories and services.
Speaking during one of their training sessions at the Legacy Pitch inside the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos, the players were so excited with what they are learning from the seasoned coaches of the academy who have been taking them through the rudiments of the round leather game.
To midfielder Rafiu Oluwatosin, who started playing football at the Perfect Touch Football Club of Ikorodu, “I came to Oshoala Football Academy through the help of coach Kazeem Alabi who is among the coaching crew of the academy. He saw me playing in Ikorodu and invited me for the trials.
“Since I was here, I could say that this is the best to have happened to women’s football in Nigeria. I learned a lot from the academy’s resources people. I have learnt basic skills, ball control, how to make accurate passes and speed on the ball. I can say that my performance is better than when I newly joined the academy.
“I want to thank Nike sports company for its support for the academy, and I am using this medium to urge my colleagues who are footballers to come to Asisat Oshoala Academy so that they can be better off in their careers.”
Another midfielder, Adegbuyi Oluwakemi, who was a former player of the FC Robo Feeder team, said that “When I came to Asisat Oshoala Academy, I was exposed to modern training where players used different sports equipment to train. The academy is different from other academies in Nigeria by far because the academy has enough equipment for players to train and secondly the academy hired the best hands to handle the players.
“The training here has improved my performance and I am happy that I am in the right academy with the right coaching crew. I am one of the players who are committed to the academy and I am happy with my performance,” she said.
Adegbuyi revealed that she looks forward to becoming a world-class player like her role models in football, Argentina’s Lionel Messi and fifth-time African women’s footballer award winner and former Nigerian captain, Asisat Oshoala because she loves their style of play.
Speaking on the objective of the academy, Technical Director Emmanuel Osahon said the academy is out to assist young female players who are talented and bring them to the limelight, adding that the academy would soon be in other states in the country as this is the dream of the founder, Asisat Oshoala and other international partners, Nike and Women Win.
Apart from training in football, the academy, which opens two hours of training for its players Monday, Wednesday and Friday every week, has other complimented programs of life skills education covering a range of empowerment and rights-based topics.
Graduates from the academy will be encouraged to convert their leadership skills to make a positive impact in their respective communities.