By: Timothy Aiyeku
Representative of the Elite Project Group (EPG), Ismail Hamza has hailed the collaboration of the agency with the FCT Chapter of the Professional Football Association of Nigeria (PFAN) in the ongoing Abuja Elite Champions Cup.
The EPG -sponsored U-16 tournament which started at the Millennium Park on Thursday, April 22 played host to young latents from the crannies of the nation’s capital to showcase their footballing skills.
The tournament will run for five days, ending with a finals on Tuesday, April 27.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja, Mr. Hamza, expressed delight seeing young talents, adding that he is more excited that they are presented with such a rare opportunity.
He is also the head of recruitment for HB Academy.
In his words “The program is to encourage young ones from all the local governments here in Abuja, to see how we can fish out young and exceptional talents, train them and move them abroad.”
The representative of the UK-based EPG, dwelled on the relationship enjoyed with the Player’s Union and its benefits to raw talents in the country.
He said “The relationship is very good and their organization is good. There are a lot of programmes they have embarked upon, even in the past that we also want to emulate. They always go for the youths to develop them because this is what we need in Nigeria. We have many talented youths but lack opportunities like this to help bring out their best and be showcased them to the world. This is the reason why we decided to collaborate with the Players Union and see what we can achieve together.
“The benefit is not about what they get as prize gifts for the competition but if we can see good players, we can introduce them to opportunities like school programs abroad, academy deals and professional contracts.” he said
Mr. Hamza therefore urged the FCT Chapter of the Players’ Union to continue to work in the interest of the young ones.
“The Players’ Union should put their heads together and help the young ones. We should put personal interests aside and help any player that is good.” he ended.
Eight teams participate in the tournament, including the Six Area Councils in the FCT, the HB Academy and IB Sporting Dreams.