Former Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president, Alhaji Sani Lulu Abdullahi has stepped up his efforts to further contribute to the discovery of hidden talents for Nigerian soccer, as he continues promoting his efforts with an academy.
Lulu said his mission is to produce Nigeria’s best footballers and hunt for talented young players all across the country through Folsla Academy.
He said this while addressing parents, coaches and students who participated in the final screening and signing of scholarship agreement to eight students/players from FCT in the school at the weekend.
Lulu also disclosed that Folsla Academy had done same in Kogi State last week, where he revealed that the same number of scholarships was given out.
Thirteen students along with their parents and coaches drawn from the six area councils in the FCT including Karshi the host community, took part in the last endorsement and screening event that held on July 13.
A total of 8 students aged 13 or below from FCT who scaled the last screening exercise, were offered admission to study in the academy starting from the new 2018/2019 academic session in September.
Lulu said further, though the project of establishing FOSLA Academy was a challenging at the beginning, he is satisfied with what the school has achieved within eight years.
He recounted: “We don’t have resources to manage the school but we can manage the little we have to achieve the best results possible. Our project appears difficult before man but before God, it is very easy. I have faith in God.
“When I started this project, people discouraged me and asked me how I could get a sponsor. It was difficult in the beginning but when I look at what we have achieved so far, I am absolutely happy.
“For the past three years, Fosla Academy has consistently set a standard in football competitions.
“We are the current champions of FCT Principals Cup in the FCT. But we cannot succeed in our mission if the staff are not committed and the students not willing to learn.
“I don’t need anybody in this country to recognise me. I am doing this work because it is my calling and only God can reward me.
“My primary partners are the coaches. My dream is not to send players to Europe; my primary dream is to produce players to be the best in the country. If a player is not the best in the country, he or she cannot succeed abroad.
“In our first Shell Cup tournament, my players were paid N45, 000 each by Shell but I did not keep the money. I sent it to their parents.
“European countries and scouts have approached me severally to send my players to them but when I asked them about the continued education of the players, they told me that after two or three years with them, they would continue their education.
“I said no, it cannot be. Their education is key at this point. We need to develop them. In Fosla, my dream is simple, education is number one; football is second because any child who is intelligent can play good football.
“The parents should challenge us to do better. We want to collectively develop the children and when that is done, the benefit will be to Nigeria.
“We went through pains and challenges when we started but I am happy at where we are now, however I believe where we are going is greater.”