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Daniel Amokachi gives children hope, to nurture them to become star at Meadow Hall Summer Football Camp

Created by Godstimereal 24/Jun/2017 16:40:42 (PM)
[IMG]http://cdn1.dailypost.ng/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/omokachi-559x400.jpg[/IMG]
Former Nigerian striker and ex-Super Eagle’s Assistant Coach, Daniel Amokachi has raised the hope of Nigerian children who are aspiring to become professional footballers as he has disclosed his intention to train such children who may have chosen a footballing career in the Meadow Hall summer football camp.

The summer football camp, according to Amokachi who is the current coach of Finnish club, JS Hercules will be opened to young children from ages 4 – 17 years and will give them the opportunity to develop interest in football and start training at an early age.

He said the camp is an opportunity to build the children’s dream of becoming world-class football stars.
The coach in this interview with some journalists also goes back memory lane on how he began his career and other sundry issues.
Excerpts…

How did you start your football journey?
I started playing football in my secondary school at Government College, Kaduna. In our generation, our priority was to study hard to become lawyers, engineers, doctors etc. But I realized that I enjoyed playing football. At age 16, I was called up to play for the Super Eagles and we went for a tournament in Holland. I later signed for Club Brugge in Belgium. I was just playing football and enjoying the game but it turned out to be a path God had ordained for me to take and up till now I am still enjoying the grace that God has bestowed upon me.
Can you give a brief insight as to how you got involved with the Meadow Hall Football Camp?

I met the Meadow Hall family in 2016 during my visit to Nigeria. I walked into the school in Lekki, Lagos and I was amazed at the beautiful learning environment they have put in place for grooming children, which is not something you see often in Nigeria. I was also impressed at the attention given to providing world-class sporting facilities to keep the children engaged. The Astro-turf, 25m swimming pool, 100m running track and other world-class sports and games facilities. I totally aligned with Meadow Hall vision of raising excellent, Godly and well-rounded children who will attain their highest potential in life and become lifelong learners. Based on the above vision, I decided to partner with Meadow Hall in identifying and nurturing football talent of young children not only from Meadow Hall but children from other schools. We had the first football camp in December last year tagged “Christmas Soccer Camp with Daniel Amokachi” and it was a huge success. The children enjoyed it thoroughly and I am look forward to joining them again this summer. I had fun and the children also had fun, but more importantly they learnt a lot. I am very passionate about the development of football in Nigeria and particularly giving young people the opportunity to develop their skills at an early age.
What is the Summer Football Camp about and why did you choose to come from Finland to handle this project?

The Summer Football Camp is about giving the younger generation an opportunity to discover their football talent and learn the basic techniques of the game. The camp offers young children from ages 4 – 17 years the opportunity to develop interest in football and start training at an early age. The camp is an opportunity to build the children’s dream of becoming world-class football stars.
As an ex-international player, can you tell us what you intend to achieve with the children and what incentives should the children expect from the Summer Football Camp?

Every youngster wants to play football and as we all know, it is a beautiful game. At an early age, it is important to let the children have the football experience and learn the basics of the game. I look forward to meeting these children in future or even seeing them on TV playing in Europe or with a club side in Nigeria. I must also say that sports generally help to develop the children’s mind, thinking ability and social skills. Therefore, parents should always encourage their children to participate in sports especially football.
Who should register for the Summer Football Camp?

The Summer Football Camp is open to children within the ages 4 to 17years. Children in Nigeria and other Africa countries can participate as there is provision for accommodation at a highly subsidized rate for children living outside Lagos. The camp is open during the summer break; parents can easily register their children for the Summer Football Camp since it will not interfere with their academic pursuit. I am expecting every child that has interest in football to register. There will also be special training sessions for school football teams.

When will the Summer Football Camp be opened for registration and for how many days will the camp run?
The registration for the Summer Football Camp has started and there is good discount for schools or group registration for registering every member of their football team. I would advise you to register on or before 30th of June, 2017 to ensure you get your customised jersey. It is a 5day Summer Football Camp that will run from Tuesday 18th – Saturday 22nd, July 2017.
How can I register my child for the Summer Football Camp?

Where will the Summer Football Camp take place?
The Summer Football Camp will take place at Meadow Hall, Meadow Hall way, Alma Beach Estate, Elegushi Bus stop, Lekki-Epe expressway, Ikate, Lekki, Lagos.
How will your new role as a technical director with JS Hercules help you in handling the Meadow Hall Football Camp?
That’s where the technical input comes in, it’s all about creating a programme that will help the youngsters enjoy the beautiful game of football and learn about the techniques of the game which will help them even beyond the camp. In addition, football is beyond the field, it will also help build their character and prepare them for life.
As an ex-international player who played for the country at the World Cup in two tournaments, do you think this programme will help the country develop her desired talents?
Yes. I can say it is a beautiful project that will help discover and develop talents. It is impressive to see a school involved in a project like this that will help the development of sports at the grassroot level. We cannot expect the government to do everything, private sector involvement in sports is needed and I am happy to partner with Meadow Hall on this project. Padmozi Sports Marketing Company and the Lagos State Football Association are also supporting the project.
As a parent yourself with children playing in Bekistas, what’s your advice to parents on encouraging and grooming their children’s talent?
Every child has been ordained to take a different path in life, if your child has the interest and talent why not. But at an early age, giving your child the opportunity to engage in different activities and sports camps is important. I believe in the holistic development of children and providing opportunities for their development not just through an academic curriculum, but through an active engagement in sports. Particularly allowing them engage in sports at an early age is very important. This is what Meadow Hall is focused on achieving through one of its Subsidiaries, Spring Meadow Edutainment (SME). Spring Meadow Edutainment (SME) is a subsidiary of Meadow Hall Group, designed to inspire and nurture creativity in children as well as create avenues where they can have fun while still developing their God given talents.
Tell us about your new position as the Technical Director at JS Hercules FC in Finland?
My job is to organize programmes to develop the football academy, administration of the game and help improve the players’ performance.
Can you share one of your best memories from your time on the field as a player?
A lot of people ask me about my best memories as a player but honestly I enjoyed every bit of my football career. My football career was cut short by an injury I sustained when I was only 28 years. Before then, I had a wonderful time playing in Nigeria, Belgium, England, Turkey and USA. I was blessed to win several trophies- FA Cup, Olympics, African Cup of Nations. I represented Nigeria at two different world cups and the Olympics Confederations Cup.
I just give glory to God Almighty for everything I was able to achieve. The memories still stay with me and I cannot pick one experience as the most memorable. I enjoyed every moment of my playing experience.
You will be representing Nigeria at the Star Sixies FIFA tournament, tell us about it?
I was called by JJ Okocha who is the captain of the Nigerian team for the tournament and I am happy to be part of it. It is all about ex-internationals around the world coming back to play the beautiful game of football. The inaugural competition will hold in July at the O2 Arena. The tournament will no doubt bring back memories, especially to our fans that have not us play in years.
What opportunities do the children who attend the Football Camp have to play internationally like your children?
It is really for the children to come and learn the skills, techniques and enjoy the game of football. In the course of the Summer Football Camp, if we see or spot a talent we will discuss with the school and parents and advise them on the next steps to take. Our ultimate aim is to raise world-class football stars hence the operation catch them young. Children availability at the Summer Football Camp is the first step, so I would like to encourage parents to register their children both male and female.
What does the game of football mean to you?
Football is life. God has used football to showcase me to the world. Even though I stopped playing competitively in 2000, the name Daniel Amokachi still rings a bell to many people around the world which tells you that God has definitely blessed me.
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