The COPA Coca-Cola coaching clinic recently received a boost following the visit from the famous ex-international, Garba Lawal, a 1996 Olympic gold medalist.
The celebrated footballer was at the COPA Coca-Cola coaching clinic with ex-golden Eaglet coach, Hassan Abubakar to help the young players strengthen their confidence with several soccer drills and earnest motivational words, ahead of their group stage matches.
The veteran midfielder, Lawal who had 53 caps for Nigeria, lauded COPA Coca-Cola for helping the kids nurture their talents, while also building the nation’s football. He expressed that, “This initiative is fantastic, it is very important to the overall development of Nigerian football.”
Lawal spoke to the teams from Kano, Jigawa, Katsina and Zamfara States, who had all won at the grassroots phase of the COPA Coca-Cola tournament and currently gathered at Kaduna State to contest at the COPA Coca-Cola regional stage, so that the North West region could have a representative at the upcoming National finals in Lagos.
He expressed that, “I believe this is a foundational structure in the country’s football and I am highly impressed with the talents and determination I’ve seen. I hope to see a lot of them do better than I did.”
At the training camp, Marketing Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Patricia Jemibewon while speaking on behalf of the brand said, “Coca-Cola strongly believes in the potential of Nigerian teens and we are well aware that one of the greatest passions of these teenagers is football, so we wanted to come up with a way to provide sport education and development for them.”
After the clinic, a round robin game was played between the teams from Government Day Secondary School Ibrahim Gusau, Zamfara; Government Secondary School Asahaba, Kano; Government Unity Secondary School, Jigawa and Government Junior Secondary Kotar Kaura, Katsina, and the boys from Jigawa state became the champions with five points from three matches.
Between identifying young talents across the country through the COPA Coca-Cola U-15 football tournament, the laudable initiative is also offering the talented footballers a guidance that will lead to an elite football career with its COPA Coca-Cola coaching clinic, giving kids an opportunity not just to meet with a legend of the game, but to be inspired by his life story and receive a morale boost.