It is well-known the huge abyss in football development in Africa between grassroots/amateur level and making it as a professional. 
The defunct system of football development at schools before subsequent scouting and proper coaching makes it an uphill battle to get a chance to become a Pro. The conveyor belt of talented players across Africa continues to empty into this abyss.

Nevertheless, the evolution of Mohammed Salah, Sadio Mané, and Riyad Mahrez as not only Africa’s very best but in the world in recent years, shows the unending talent pool in Africa.

It is in light of this, that former Nigeria international, Victor Ogunsanya (now known as Victor Adebisi Adeniran) is on an inspirational mission to develop the next generation of African football stars. 

Founding Ade Sports Management in 1999 in the United States, Adeniran’s organization specializes in finding and exposing raw talent from different areas of the world to education and football coaching. 

ASM began with recruiting young players for American colleges, where they can pursue an education alongside their various sporting desires.
Now organizing bi-annual scouting trips to Africa, ASM is currently on a three-day scouting exercise at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos. 

Adeniran’s extensive network of coaches and ex-colleagues provide the best players in academies from all over Africa for trials in Lagos. This year’s players showcase has players from Tanzania, Ghana, Cameroon and Ivory Coast aged 17-19 working hard to impress agents from Belgium, Germany, and Holland.

Adeniran addressing the players.
Motivated by a desire to give back to his land of origin, Adeniran, who represented Nigeria at the Seoul ’88 Olympics is helping the next generation of superstars by bridging the huge gap in grassroots football in Africa. Tapping them at the perfect age – as he believes – to travel to Europe where their football can be developed to the next level.

Pertinently, the Inspiration to place young talents in the proper environment for their development is all-encompassing. Education is at the fore-front of ASM’s goals, with the nurturing of young men regarded as much as their football development. 

As ‘Coach Ade’ says, ASM is looking to establish its academy in Africa that would develop players nationwide from age 12 before hopefully making the big leap to greener pastures.
Simultaneously the less-privileged would be offered education, with love for the sport and learning a driving force behind their motivations.

So far, several players currently hone their skills at academies in Germany, Spain and Portugal having come through ASM’s academy system in the US.

The ultimate vision, according to Adeniran, is to have his ex-academy players grace the 2026 world cup, set to be hosted by the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

At this rate the 2022 Mundial just might have one or two ex-ASM youngsters.

Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin
February 21, 2020

Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.

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