The annual beach soccer tournament, COPA Lagos, organised by Kinetic Sports has unveiled the first Lagos-based beach soccer team â€“ Gidi Sharks.
Gidi Sharks has been scheduled to play their first match against Arsenal beach soccer team.
This is the first time in the tournament that local talents will be participating in COPA Lagos, which is set to hold between December 8 and 10 at the Eko Atlantic City.
The players were selected by Switzerland beach soccer veteran and FIFA Instructor, Angelo Schirinzi, and national beach soccer coach, Adamu Ejo.
The team comprises of beach soccer talents from the different parts of Lagos State. They were all selected during a talent hunt programme sponsored by FCMB, Pepsi, Hero Lager and VisionScape.
The selected players will get the opportunity of a lifetime to play their first match against the European club champions, Arsenal Beach Soccer team.
The talent hunt gave an opportunity to find raw talents and also gave them the chance to express their skills and beach soccer abilities.
From Takwa Bay to Badagry, 10 players were selected from each location while Ojo and Ebute Meta contributed 11 and 19 players respectively.
The 50 players were then pruned down to 23 provisional players, and then put through intensive training in a two-week Boot Camp facilitated Schirinzi.
The first team made up of 10 players will be selected to play Arsenal BSC at COPA Lagos 2017.
In an interview, Schirinzi said, â€œNigeria has potential in football and it can be seen at every street corner. â€œWe intend to make them professional players.â€
Managing Director of Kinectic Sport, Samson Adamu, while speaking to reporters recently, said, â€œWe brought in one of the best coaches in the world to scout for players from different parts of Lagos.
â€œBeach Soccer is one of the fastest growing sport in the world and we seek to take an early entry advantage.
â€œI believe we have a good number of beach soccer talents; we are a country with a huge passion for soccer and most people have been playing soccer on sand from a young age.
â€œOur goal is to develop a beach soccer league and we are starting with Gidi Sharks, using them as Ambassadors who will develop beach soccer teams in their respectively communities.
â€œEvery edition of COPA Lagos brings a unique offering and this yearâ€™s tops the excitement, not only with the regular feature of sport, music, dance, fashion, fansâ€™ zone and celebrity entertainment but also, the introduction of a Female Celebrity Match and the â€œLagos-basedâ€ beach soccer team, Gidi Sharks who will be playing their first match against Arsenal beach soccer team.â€