Yenagoa—Mr Ono Akpe, Director General of the Prosperity Cup Tournament has revealed that the tournament has attracted several football scouts within and outside the country.
Akpe who made this known in an interview noted that the 2022 edition of the tournament had scouts from France, the Aspire Academy, Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa, and Australia who came to look for players.
“They needed to get a lot of Nigerian players. They came in and picked up several local players from the tournament. It was a good outing for us and for our young boys. Quite a good number of the players were selected and screened but some had documentation problems.
“We had about 11 of them expected to travel to Europe to places like Serbia, Asia, and other European countries. More have been snapped up by the local teams in Nigeria, including but not limited to Bayelsa United,” he said.
Akpe averred that winners of the 2019 edition were also taken to Cape Verde, where they played the African Youth Cup and came third.
While stating that outstanding talents that abound in Bayelsa have been exposed through the tournament, the Director General also revealed that it engages over 10,000 footballers, administrators, coaches, referees, and other allied supporters for over 3 months the tournament runs.
He revealed that “we intend to have our international scouts coming in again.
“We have been flooded with calls from various countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Oceania. At the end of the day, we equally expect that apart from the scouts that come, a select team picked by the scouts will go on a playing tour.
“We are also in talks with academies in Europe, Asia, and the Eastern bloc. It is important to note that the second batch of scouts came for the last edition. The scouts from KAZ Academy in Europe wanted to pick a lot from the tournament so they could be drilled and moved to teams that needed their service.
“They wanted players within the range of 15-17 years. In that academy, they go through football and school at the same time. We want more academies to come and take our boys to go through good schools and to foreign clubs thereafter. We want them to have an education and a career in football so they can have something to fall back on when their playing days are over.”