Many educated youth are now keen on playing football professionally, unlike in the past where football was regarded as a game for school dropouts and the academically poor.
Young people now do not only see playing football as an opportunity to rise to fame but also as an avenue to make money.
No wonder when the selection process for the sixth edition of the MTN Soccer Academy by local television station, Metro TV, began, many students from schools across the country thronged the St Thomas Aquinas School park where the event was held to justify their inclusion.
In separate interviews with the Junior Graphic, the prospective teammates said they were not taking part in the competition just to win the ultimate prize but also to make an impact in the world of soccer.
Master Anthony Konotey-Blankson from the Tema Technical Institute said he was at the soccer academy selection ground to display his natural talent “because I know scouts would be around.”
“I am not here to compete for the ultimate prize, which is just for a season, but to look for a lifetime opportunity,” he said.
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A second-year student of the Bolgatanga Senior High School, Master Akurugu Mohamed, said although he was not successful in his bid to join the soccer academy, that would not deter him from playing football to the highest level.
According to him, there were a lot of natural talents across the country, and, therefore, called on coaches of the various teams and the national team handlers to endeavour to visit every district for new talents for the teams.
Another student, David Debrah from IPMC in Accra, however, disclosed that “apart from playing football, you need to have a certificate or degree so that after retiring from football, you can work”.
For his part, Master Bright Mensah from the Gomoa Senior High School said he wanted to become a star in future.
Master Jacob Akapini from the Zamsi Senior High School in Bolgatanga said he was happy to have qualified to the next stage of the competition.
He was thankful to the organisers of the event, since it had given students and the youth in general a platform to showcase their football talents.