The third edition of the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) and the men’s top professional football division of the Spanish football league system, commonly known as LaLiga, the NPFL-La Liga’s coaching clinic for Nigerian youth coaches, has ended in Abuja.
The five-day clinic, which started on Monday, had over 70 youth coaches in attendance.
The participants were trained in various ways to develop young talents using the LaLiga methodology.
Present for the duration of the coaching clinic was LaLiga Ambassador, Mutiu Adepoju, while conducting the clinic were LaLiga coaching instructors, Juanjo Guerra, and José Ángel García.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, the managing director, LaLiga Nigeria, Javier Del Rio said, “This year’s seminar has been a great improvement on the first two editions. It showed the coaches really paid attention in the first two clinics, as it is evident that the coaches are reaching a higher level with new concepts and ideas to pass onto their players.
“We are even more excited about the upcoming U-15 promises tournament. This is the third edition and we are seeing the results, and there is much more to come in the coming years”.
As part of LaLiga’s commitment to talent development and exposure, Del Rio added that in order to move the program forward and to bring professional footballers out of the program, LaLiga is working towards having the top young talents scouted from the tournament to train with the youth clubs in Spain in the nearest future.
Also speaking at the closing ceremony, the NFF 2nd vice president and LMC chairman, Shehu Dikko, expressed his delight at the clinic, saying, “Youth development is the future of football. We are committed to developing capacity at the grassroots level, this is the third edition of this program and we are already seeing the results.
“Some of the players who participated in the first edition are now with the National U17 team and some have graduated into the first team of their various Clubs, we will continue to collaborate with our partners, LaLiga in ways to develop our football and our league”.
One of the participants in the clinic, Ezema Gabriel, who is the assistant coach/technical analyst of Enugu Rangers, said, “It has been an enriching coaching experience for all of us. We all know that coaching education is essential to football development in Nigeria and it’s a very great step for us to consistently educate the coaches through the LaLiga platform. With this, I believe that the future for us in Nigeria football is bright. I’m grateful to LaLiga and to the LMC and for this great opportunity.”
The NPFL-LaLiga partnership was signed in 2016 and has since recorded several exchange projects between the two leagues, including a tour of Spain by an NPFL All-Star team, the opening of the LaLiga Nigeria office in Abuja, and the U-15 tournament.
With the closing of the third edition of the NPFL-LaLiga Coaching Clinic, LaLiga, in partnership with the LMC and the NPFL are starting work together with the clubs on the U-15 tournament which will take place in April 2019, across the nation.