Former Nigerian international, Henry Nwosu has praised Copa Coca-Cola in its drive at developing and growing future football stars for Nigeria.
“Through Copa Coca-Cola, grassroots football can be
encouraged to groom our stars of tomorrow, today,” says the former assistant coach at the 2002 World Cup and 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The former footballer was a confidence booster to the young footballers at the coaching clinics for the Under-15 football teams participating in the ongoing COPA Coca-Cola tournament.
The coaching clinics which took place ahead of the Southern regional finals in Port Harcourt was also co-chaired by ex-international footballer, Tajudeen Disu, who supported Nwosu’s statement by adding that discipline, determination, and dedication are the ultimate prima needed to train these teens to become football stars and also help them achieve other future endeavours.
Speaking on the coaching clinics, Nwosu said, “I am passionate about coaching clinics because it is one of the ways that Coca-Cola is encouraging our youths to leave the streets and be worthy ambassadors of this country and their families. Through Copa Coca-Cola, grassroots football can be encouraged to groom our stars of tomorrow, today.
Nwosu, who remains the youngest Nigerian player to win the African Nations Cup, shared his teenage experience on combining education and football.
“I am passionate about grassroots football because I started out exactly like some of these teens. I sneaked out of the house most afternoons just to play football because I was that passionate about it. My parents eventually decided to let me play football as long as I focused intently on my education and put in my best.
“To prove to my parents that I could play football and still be studious, I worked twice as hard in class and on the football field and excelled. I want these teens to know that many doctors, lawyers, and military officials had managed to successfully play football and still excel in their education and jobs. If you want to play football, by all means, play but do not let your education suffer,” Nwosu said.
Corroborating Nwosu’s statement, American-based Tajudeen Disu explains why grassroots football remains a priority on his agenda and why he is proud to contribute to the society through the Copa Coca-Cola coaching clinics.
In Disu’s words “Back in the days, my team mates and I took our education as seriously as we took our love for football. Years later, we are glad we combined the two because it is the combination of the two that made us successful. These teens are rising football stars and could be recruited from within their secondary schools like I was. To build a future they can be proud of and retain their love for football, these teens need to take their education seriously too.”
Reiterating his reason for participating in Copa Coca-Cola, Disu continued, “This is my second year of training teens in the Copa Coca-Cola coaching clinics and it has been an exciting experience for me. Big kudos goes to Coca-Cola for their continuous efforts in the development of grassroots football because this competition has the driving power to keep teens off the streets and give them a reason to remain in school.
Speaking at the event, The Marketing Manager, Coca-Cola, Cletus Onyebuoha, expressed his appreciation for the continued support of the ex-internationals.
“Coca-Cola strongly believes in the potential of Nigerian teens and we are well aware that football is a passion point for them. Through the trainings and motivation provided by our partnering seasoned ex-internationals, Copa Coca-Cola will continuously provide opportunities for skills acquisition and sports education.”