NPFL-LaLiga coaching clinic begins in Abuja

By Ayo Olu Ibidapo

The second edition of the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL)-LaLiga coaching clinic for clubs’ youth coaches officially kicked off in Abuja on Wednesday, February 7, 2018.

The coaching clinic is designed to train youth coaches on how to properly develop and manage young talents using the LaLiga philosophy and methodology.

The five-day clinic with about 40 youth coaches in attendance is holding at the National Stadium, Abuja from February 7 to 11, 2018 and it officially precedes the NPFL Under-15 Promises Tournament which is scheduled to start in April across different locations in Nigeria.

Present at the opening ceremony were League Management Company (LMC) Chief Operating Officer, Salihu Abubakar; Assistant Technical Director, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Siji Lagunju; LaLiga Country Manager in Nigeria, Javier del Rio; LaLiga Ambassador, Mutiu Adepoju; and LaLiga coaching instructors, Luciano Martel Santana and Antonio Alvarez.

Speaking at the event inside the Media Centre of the Abuja National Stadium, LMC Chief Operating Officer, Abubakar said: “We are excited to kick off the second edition of the coaching clinic. Last year’s edition was a huge success. Today marks another great day in our partnership with LaLiga, as they are the best league in the world, and we too aspire to be the best.”

LaLiga Ambassador in Nigeria and ex-Super Eagles star, Mutiu Adepoju had this to say: “This is a follow up from the success experienced from the first edition last year, at a much higher level. I hope the coaches not only listen but attempt to implement the insights received, and relay to their various teams.”

Also speaking at the event was LaLiga representative, Javier del Rio who said: “We have been developing LaLiga for a number of years now, and Nigeria has a huge potential in football but lacks structured grassroots development. We truly believe that this clinic and the U-15 tournament coming up in a few weeks will really help with the development of football in Nigeria. We are bringing top international coaches from Spain to help achieve this.”

The NPFL-LaLiga partnership was signed in 2016 and has since recorded a number of 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 Promises tournament.