Excited Nneku, Ekeh win Pepsi Academy’s UK Scholarship
Two lucky aspiring footballers, Nneku Joseph and Ekeh Divines, were on Saturday in Abeokuta provided the opportunity to pursue their dream at the Brooke House College in the United Kingdom.
The scholarship, courtesy of Pepsi Nigeria Plc., will see the youngsters selected from the Pepsi Football Academy, combining their normal education with tutelage in football at the famous British school.
According to officials of the country’s famous football academy, the scholarship is part of Pepsi’s commitment to identify and groom football youngsters at the grassroots in Nigeria and make them world stars.
The selection process at the Funturf Arena, Abeokuta, Ogun State involved 128 students of the Academy selected from across 14 centres in Nigeria, who participated in a three-day rigorous selection exercise with the panel of judges led by Ex-Super Eagles Coach Adegboye Onigbinde.
They were judged based on field skill display, ball intelligence and general comportment on and off the field.
According to the Head of Marketing Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc (SBC), Norden Thurston, the UK Scholarship scheme is in line with the vision of the Academy to develop football skills and create a platform for youngsters to make their dreams come through.
“The last three days has not just been about choosing two winners but showcasing the abundance of talents we have across the country, sharpening their football skills. The essence of the scheme is to create a platform for exposure and affords the youngsters the opportunity to showcase their talents and acquire new skills to play in foreign leagues, clubs and more importantly in the national team; some of the beneficiaries are currently playing in Europe. I wish the two winners well done and urge them to be good ambassadors of Pepsi Academy and Nigeria wherever they go,” Mr. Norden said.
Also speaking at the event, former Coach of the Super Eagles, Adegboye Onigbinde, described Pepsi Football Academy as the only football academy in Nigeria and encouraged other bodies and institutions in the country to emulate Pepsi in identifying, polishing and bring together young football talents at the grassroots to develop the game of soccer in the country.
Nneku, one of the winners, described his emergence as a result of hard work and perseverance. The Anambra born youngster, whose father is late, said the future has just begun for him and his family with the award.
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