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Ilerika praises Zenith Bank’s role in grassroots football development


[FILE PHOTO] Football pitch

The national U-15 football team Head Coach, Haruna Ilerika has showered praises on Zenith Bank Plc for its role in the development of talents for the national teams.

Ilerika at the weekend said his job has been made easier with the talents produced in the partnership arrangement of Zenith Bank and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in raising young talents from the grassroots.

The coach said: “The boys in camp were players discovered from the NFF/Zenith U-13 Future Eagles project, the competition is played in every state to the inter-state stage. The states event produced teams for the Zonal stage, while the geo-political zones produce teams for the national event.


“We scouted the boys in the Future Eagles team from this tournament organized by the federation and their sponsor. Some of these boys featured in the Africa Youth Games in Algeria last year. We also had some of them in Morocco for two friendly matches in 2017.”

Ilerika urged other corporate organisations to emulate Zenith Bank in the development of football in the country.

“The most crucial stage of football development is identifying the talents and putting them in line for exposure to the next level. You must have eyes for it but more importantly, we thank Zenith Bank for creating a template to identify talents from the tender age,” Ilerika added.

Over 10 players from the Zenith Bank U-13 project are in the current national U-15 team.

Meanwhile, the U-15 national team, Future Eagles on Saturday broke their training camp in Sagamu, Ogun State for a two-week break and will resume in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja after the ongoing Ramadan activities.

The final phase of preparations will begin then ahead of the Four-Nation Invitational Tournament in Japan next month.

The team has been preparing for this year’s edition of U-16 International Dream Cup, which will hold from June 12 to 16 in the city of Sendai in Japan.
Nigeria will compete for honours in the tournament alongside the host country Japan, Romania and Mexico.

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