Sixteen (16) Ghanaian teenagers have been shortlisted for the maiden Glo Soccer Academy.
This was made known after the screening process in Ghana ended in Accra on Thursday.
The selection process had taken place in Kumasi and Tamale prior to its end in the capital – where the process recorded its largest patronage.
A total of 700 youngsters aged between 14-17 had been screened by the time the final whistle was blown at the Lizzy Sports Complex on Thursday.
The process all through the three cities in Ghana had been presided over by veteran internationals and celebrity coaches including Tijani Babangida, Tony Baffoe, goalkeepers’ trainer Zion Ogunfeyimi and Abdul ‘Golden Boy’ Razak.
Registered academy aspirants are kitted and taken through basic pitch workouts and light exercises including jogging, aerobics and push-ups.
The numbers are then split into teams for the actual evaluation and selection by the coaches.
“As they play, we look out for a host of qualities but key among these are ball control, personal composure and team play, the players’ understanding of the rules of the game and the exhibition of special skills,’ said Academy Coach Tony Baffoe, a veteran who plied his trade in the Bundeslega and was in defence for the Black Stars in the 1980s.
Tijani Babangida, in his day a prominent player for Dutch club Ajax and the Super Eagles also shared his experience as one of the Academy coaches.
“In Kumasi the kids displayed amazing skills for their age and personally never in my entire football career have I seen so many left-footed players in the game,” he said.
“Once these boys begin using their right feet like everybody else, they become the most sought after players in the game.”
The selection process will now travel through six venues in Nigeria and Benin before a final shortlist of thirty three (33) is made.
The thirty three will then enter into the Soccer Academy house to be based in Nigeria after which the number will be pruned down to sixteen (16) finalists.
The sixteen will visit the famous Manchester United Soccer School out of which the grand winner will emerge.