Some Top football teams in Europe rely on home grown talents which actually cost nothing to buy and these players make some of the most successful football players in the world because of the coaching and training they were exposed to at a very young age.Although many successful football clubs have academies but some of the most successful clubs that have produced proven home grown stars include Ajax, Liverpool, Dortmund, Arsenal, West-ham and many more just to mention a few.
Africa and Nigeria at large lack good football academies and this post would list out the top 5 best football academies in Nigeria where you can get the best training and coaching and it is leveraged on the players produced and success of the academies in competitive tournaments. Although we are not near that of the European clubs but these top 5 academies will surely get you to those clubs in the long run.
1. Pepsi Football Academy (PFA):
The Pepsi Football Academy owned by the popular beverage Pepsi makes the top list and is a well known football academy in Nigeria. They provide talented and skilled youngsters the opportunity to develop their career within football.
Some prominent footballers that emerged from Pepsi Football Academy includes the likes of Mikel Obi and Elderson Echiejile just to mention a few. Pepsi also gives scholarships to students of its academy to study in the UK.
Originally based in Lagos at Agege Stadium, Pepsi academy now has 14 centers across the country and has over 3000 students.
2. Kwara State Football Academy (KWFA):
Owned by the Kwara state government and established in 2005, the Kwara State Football Academy is the initiative of Bukola Saraki. The academy which commenced operations with former Nigeria national team technical adviser, Clemence Westerhof and is now managed by a Swedish technical director, Paul Ashwonth.
Ashwonth has managed many professional teams in Europe including Dynamo Kiev and FC Peterborough. The academy has 7 other coaches, who are former Nigeria International footballers with coaching certificates.
The academy currently has over 150 students and accepts young talented footballers between the ages of 13 – 21 years.
3. Abuja Football College (AFC):
Abuja Football College was Established January 2012 by Gabriel Newton who is also FIFA Licensed instructor, in partnership with Haruna Abba.
AFC recently has won FCT Federations cup and represented Abuja at the national level. It won the under 20 unity football competition tagged FCT 2013, beating years like Pepsi Academy, Kwara state academy…
AFC also got to the Semi finals of Croatia soccer tourney in July 2013, defeated Pro-clubs like FC Zagreb and Croatia’s under 21 national team.
AFC training center in an exclusive location at Wuse, Abuja Municipals Bwari, has residential suite that can accommodate 120 students. It also has a college with Wendy Cameron as the principal. The college run USA educational curriculum.
The official website and Facebook page of Abuja Football College is: http://abujafootballcollege.com
4. Midas Soccer Academy (MSA):
Midas Football Academy Nigeria was established in November 2006 to discover young soccer talents in Nigeria and the rest of Africa and make them better persons in the society, the academy is affiliated with the Nigeria Football Federation.
The official website and Facebook page of Midas Soccer Academy is: www.midasfootballacademy.com
5. Papilo Football Academy:
Owned by one of Nigeria’s greatest footballer Nwankwo Kanu who played with Ajax, Inter Milan, Arsenal, and Portsmouth and has a lot of medals to his name. Papilo Football Academy was founded in 2001.
PNKFA has succeeded in transferring over 10 players abroad. Notable names include Joel Obi of Inter Milan and Stanley Okoro of Battista, who is nicknamed ‘Little Messi.’
Kanu uses his connections to bring in Top international coaches like Bryan Robson, Gary Smith… to train the students on short courses. The academy has over 200 players in Nwankwo Kanu’s private estate at Egbu Owerri road.
Kanu is also reportedly said to be building one of the biggest football academies in Africa and the academy is open to Under 15, under 17, under 19 students.