Diamond Football Academy shot into national reckoning when two of her players emerged MVP and bronze Boot Winners respectively at the 2015 U17 World Youth Championships held in Chile. In fact, two of her players won the bronze boot, as Kelechi Nwakali (MVP) was erroneously awarded the bronze boot and when FIFA realized the mistake, they sent another bronze boot to Samuel Chukwueze the rightful winner.
Papilonews.com in her new series Academy Watch took an indepth look at the Umuahia based academy. Enjoy:
Prince Okechukwu Apugo flanked by Chukwueze and Nwakali
Diamond international Football Academy, Umuahia was established in 2012 by Prince Martin Ikechukwu Apugo aka Leader. The youth soccer academy is driven by Leaders passion to discover, train, nurture, expose and empower talented soccer stars in Nigeria.
Fulfilled: Leader all smiles with the Golden Ball and Bronze Boot his boys brought home from Chile 2015 U17 WYC
In order to successfully achieve his desires, Leader has over the years been able to structure the organization with reputable, experience and tested football administrators, coaches and back room staff.
Several players of the academy are today at Nigeria national youth teams while some are plying their trade in Europe and other parts of the world.
According to Prince Apugo, the objective of Diamond Football Academy development activity is to ultimately improve the football experience of those who wish to play the game. Building the skills and capacities of the individuals responsible for providing this football experience is therefore key to this objective.
Diamond Football Academy will provide the most talented and skilled youngsters with the opportunity to progress their career within football. Such players will also contribute to the future success of Nigeria as a footballing Nation.
Through training and playing in a disciplined environment, each player will acquire skills that are far more important than footballing ability alone. Responsibility, humility, self-confidence, teamwork, inter-personal skills and a positive attitude and disposition will be the hallmark of Diamond Football Academy.
The tournament “DIAMOND YOUTH SOCCER CUP CHAMPIONSHIP” is an annual tournament packaged to help develop African football at the grassroot level and to create a platform for talented young African players to showcase their personal skills and ability in the game of football while competing in the presence of international football scouts, soccer academies, coaches, managers and media.
The tournament is a special event as it will create opportunities for players to be considered for trials with local and foreign clubs.
Top football scouts from Nigeria, Europe and other parts of the world grace the 3 day tournament and teams come from different parts of Nigeria to participate.
Diamond Football Academy is run by a crack management team which consists of the following individuals:
Prince Victor Okechukwu Apugo (General Manager), Barrister Vitalis Anopue (Secretary), Barrister Ikechukwu Odigbo (Legal Officer), Evangelist Tony Adiele (Technical Director), Mr. Bolaji Samuel (Welfare Officer), Ikechukwu Ewuru (Equipment Manager), Matthew Egesi (Asst Equipment Manager) Peter nnolum (Technical Consultant0, Coach Harrison Mecha (Physical Trainer), Obiora Emmanuel (Goalkeeper Trainer/U16 Coach)
Diamond Football Academy have discovered, nurtured and produced many good players who have made giant strides in their careers so far. Some of them are:
Kelechi Nwakali – Chile 2015 U17 WYC Most Valuable Player (Golden Ball Winner). Signed by Arsenal in June 2016
Samuel Chukwueze – Chile 2015 U17 WYC Bronze Ball Winner.
Ipalibo Jack- 2016 U20 National Team star. Currently with Villareal
Chukwuebuka Iroha- U23 National Team player
Junior Udeme Pius- FC Porto
Diamond Football Academy currently train at Government College Umuahia but have recently acquired a large expanse of land at Ndume Umuahia where work is on going on a massive sports facility that will be the first of its kind to be owned by a private academy in Nigeria.
Diamond Footbal Academy, Umuahia Abia State
Call to register – 08094180742