In his quest to give back to the society and the state in general, a former grassroot footballer and a star of the Youth Sport Federation of Nigerian (YSFON) Awoala Kpunpamo, has unveil a football youth academy, the Bayelsa Football Academy (BFA) in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state.
Awoala, who won the Norway youth tournament three times with the Nigeria youth team and emerges two times highest goal scorer in the tournament, said it was a way to say thank you the society which gave him so much as a young growing footballer in the streets of Yenagoa.
Speaking at the Samson Siasia Sport complex, after watching some of the recruited youngsters in training, Awoala, revealed that his passion for grassroot football motivated him to form the academy as a way to helping the youth teenagers to stardom.
The Ijaw-born football whose is currently based in the UK, who had grassroot football stints with non-leagues sides in Norway and United Kingdom, said the academy will also provide education to the players so they will not make the mistakes some Nigerian footballers did in the past in signing contracts with foreign clubs.
“I play youth football and I am so passionate about grass root football. I played grass root football in Nigerian before moving over to the United Kingdom. I have played for Brantford town, Halefield town, Northgreenford etc, that just a few and that are all non-league sides and they play like a kind of grass root kind of football. We play among counties like local governments and the FA cups.
“The name of the academy is Bayelsa Football Academy (BFA), first achievement is to give back because I played grass root football back in the days, about 20 years with YSFON and I got the opportunity to get picked to represent Bayelsa state and Nigeria, where I play the Norway cup.
“I played the Norway cup five times and won it for three times, won the highest goal scorer two times and I had a deal in Norway. For me the purpose is to give back to the youths and that why my academy is a youth academy which is age 13 to 19.
“I want to support the teenagers and give them also some bit of education as well,especially those who has not got education, so they can grow from the academy and grow into teams like Bayelsa United or any of the national or premier leagues team in the country or even abroad.
“I haven’t got any partner but at the moment, I only got a silence partner, it is just logistic and we are in the process of registration with the FA which will provide the right support for the project.”
Awoala further disclosed he has employed the services of two coaches in the persons of former FA cup wining duo of Chigozie Christopher as head coach while Teddy Blancko as goalkeeper coach.