By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
Ekiti Football Association on the wake of its recent deal with leading Nigeria football academy, Mees Palace, have moved its desires to develop football in the state, notches higher.
According to a statement by the State FA boss, Bayo Olanlege, it has entered into another partnership with Imperial Sports Limited, co-owned by ex-Nigeria international and Wolverhampton Wanderers’ midfielder, Seyi Olofinjana and Atiba Bankole.
The partnership deal which is for the initial period of one year and renewable on satisfactory terms of both parties. It would have the FA and the club work on players development, with the Odogbolu, Ogun State based club, providing technical and logistic supports to the FA.
According to the Memorandum of Understand ( MoU), agreed by both parties, the former Super Eagles midfielder will mentor budding football talents in Ekiti State by coming to town once in a while, to speak and socialise with members of the State FA affiliated clubs and organisations.
It was also agreed that Imperial Sports Limited will also from time to time, invite and allow friendly matches to be played with Ekiti FA teams and also offer logistic support to such teams. This logistic support include accommodation the contingent of the visiting team.
Importantly, the partnership will provide opportunities for Ekiti football association players to be scouted, admitted to and exposed to local and foreign football opportunities after periodic scouting programmes.
Speaking on the partnership on behalf of Imperial Sports Limited, Olofinjana, a former Crown FC of Ogbomosho and Hull City star, was confident about the positive impacts the deal would have on the fortunes of both parties.
” I have always been a big advocate of grassroot football and development, as I am of the opinion that’s where we are getting it wrong as a nation and perhaps the continent. The more time we have to educate our players, the better.
The unassuming football administrator, further revealed that he has always been driven by his passion for the game. As well as, the ‘give back’ opportunity to a country that has given him so much in life.
He describes the partnership as an opportunity to better the lots of Ekiti State football and the footbalIers.
” All we are trying to do is create an avenue where players from our state can have pathways away from their base, for further education and exposure to opportunities,” he added.
Ekiti FA Chairman, Bayo Olanlege remarked that the partnership with Imperial Sports Limited is part of the several moves of the state football association to develop football in the state.