NAFA invites 80 players for Lagos U-18 flag football screening
Set sights on the 2023 international championship in Ireland
The Nigeria America Football Association (NAFA) has invited 80 players, mostly students from secondary schools, for the Lagos U-18 flag football combined screening ahead of the formation of a national team.
According to NAFA, the U-18 screening and competition, which will hold at the King’s College, Lagos, from September 14 to 16 for boys and girls, is being organised by the Federation to groom a young national team that will participate in an International Federation of American Football (IFAF) U-18 tournament slated to hold in Ireland, next year. It has given NAFA the opportunity to train young players that will be drafted into the envisaged senior national team in future.
It said experienced and exposed coaches in the sport would supervise the U-18 flag football screening.
Speaking with The Guardian, yesterday, Secretary General of NAFA, Lawrence Ojaideh, said the screening for players would be carried out through a stringent process to ensure there is a solid flag football team.
“The Lagos U-18 Flag Football screening would involve most of the outstanding players that represented their schools in the maiden Flag Football Championship held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
“The tryout process would be done in an organised manner from 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. daily for three days to ensure the best players are selected.
“Eighty players, comprising 40 boys and 40 girls, will participate in the exercise. Flag football is the first process of American football at the junior level before graduating to the senior level.
“We have to get it right at the U-18 level to make American football a strong force in Nigeria. Players will be tested in all departments of Flag Football.
“The team will represent Lagos State in National Flag Football Championship in the nearest future.”
Ojaideh said screening for the senior national team, which is the contact level of the sport, would be held in November.
He added: “NAFA’s target to develop Flag Football and America Football in the country has yielded positive results, as we recently received jerseys from an NFL club, Detroit Lions’ player, who directed that we give them to winners of the 2022 Nigeria Secondary Schools Flag Football League (NSSFFL).
“The winners, Greensprings, were presented their jerseys on September 5 at the school’s assembly ground.”
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