By James Agberebi:
NIgeria National League side, COD United, in partnership with English Premier League club, Bournemouth FC, on Saturday 9 July, rounded off the Summer Soccer Camp organized for kids.
The summer camp which ran for one week, saw over 60 kids within the age of five to 16 years, put through the basics of the game by two youth coaches from Bournemouth FC; former Manchester United player, Russell Beardsmore and David Pudley.
On the final day of the camp held in Lagos, the kids showcased what they've learnt in the course of the camping exercise.
At the end of the day, certificates, medals and individual awards were presented to the participating kids.
Also, four kids who distinguished themselves in their various age categories, were awarded scholarships to the COD Unites Football Academy.
The kids are Temilorun Opaleye (ages 5-7), Kayo Adeniji (ages 8-10), Isaac Odekunle (ages 11-13) and Yosola Oshodi (ages 14-16).
In a chat with Completesportsnigeria.com, the CEO of COD United, Sola Opaleye, spoke about the partnership with Bournemouth and what they stand to gain.
"It's a youth development relationship. For those who didn't know, we were with Bolton Wanderers for five years. But the relationahip had to end because of the issues they are facing back at Bolton," Opaleye said.
"We moved straight to Bournemouth to continue the partnership because they have developed a brand here in Lagos. The partnership is simple, Bournemouth will come here and deliever soccer camps for children between the age of five and 16 throughout the year.
"When they find the exceptional talents among these children, they then take them to the UK for further development. Basically, this is what the partnership is about. The partnership is tended to grow into other things like coaching, players transfers and all that, and everything is happening stage by stage for now."
Commenting on the summer camp, Beardsmore described it as a wonderful experience for him.
"It has been fantastic, training has been very good. The kids have been fantastic. We've been able to tell them the importance of discipline, listen to the coaches, follow our instructions. So we've had no issues, the parents will be happy with everything and hopefully, we will be back later in the year."
He also advised on how to run successful academies in Nigeria.
"To make academies like this grow, the players have got to be interested in football. Also the level of coaching must be high, all the players must be involved, then progress them with all the skills, techniques, passing, dribbling, heading, possession. Do everything for the kids so that they can become better."