CEO, Paddysco Sports Limited, Peter Azunnaya Okereke has revealed exclusively to us that the academy was a child of necessity.
According to the banker- turned football club Owner cum administrator, Paddysco was conceived to bridge the perceived lacuna or gap which they felt existed in Nigerian football.
The top-notch academy, which is doing wonders in the Festac area of Lagos, has taken running of football business and academy to another dimension.
Paddysco is a professionally run sports limited entity with an academy that takes care of kids from the age of 3 year and above.
Under the academy platform, they have Paddysco Neophytes, which is for kids within the age bracket of 3-6 years, there is the 6-8 years known as Marvellous, there is 8-11years called Incredibles, there is 11-13 years christened Hyenas, there is 13-16 years which is known as Royals and Exclusives, since they have two teams in that age bracket and then, they have a female group that is a dance class that takes care of young girls who are interested to learn how to cover variety of dance styles like ballet, sasa, contemporary dance, hip hop and the rest, and then not forgetting the men’s or senior team that takes care of young men who wants to play football from the age of 16 years and above, refered in- house as Paddysco Titans even though many like to call them Paddysco FC.
His words: “We formed Paddysco when we discovered that the fortunes of Nigerian football was greatly dwindling, begins Peter Okereke.
“We looked at what the causes were and then we felt that we could actually go in there to bridge those gaps.
“You would agree with me that in our clime we have boys that ants to play football but starts at a wrong age.
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“This principally was the reason why we formed or started Paddysco academy that has kids from age 3 and above, because we believe this is what the Europeans are doing that makes their kids learn the rudiments and basics of football before they get to that right age of 15 years and above .
The amiable Okereke, whose side has produced many notable stars plying their trade both locally here at home and internationally, continuing said “We decided to take it from that angle where we will have a feeder that takes care of that issue of not knowing the fundamentals in football from an early age.
“Secondly, we also discovered that most people in Nigeria have not understood the professionalism that is needed to handle football as a business. Some of them just look at football as one of those things.
“But we felt that if football is run professionally like the banks, oil companies etc, it will also yield same kind of results like we have in those sectors. So we decided to do things differently.
“We have a structure and a workforce that is working in tandem with this vision that we have. By the grace of God, I think we have made a very good progress.
“This is because right from the academy level to the senior level, we have been able to discover great talents”, he concluded.