The Papilo Football Academy was founded in 2000 and is owned by the legendary Nigerian footballer, Nwankwo Kanu. Throughout his career, Kanu played for prestigious clubs such as Ajax, Inter Milan, Arsenal, and Portsmouth and has accumulated an impressive collection of medals and awards. In this post, I will show you how to join Papilo football academy. And perhaps, become another Papilo.
How to join Papilo football academy
Below are the steps to join Papilo football academy:
1. Go to Papilo training centre
Papilo football academy is located in Owerri, Nigeria.
2. Obtain the registration form
The admission form for the Papilo Football Academy is now available.
For inquiries about purchasing the form or for admission assistance, contact the school administrator at the training centre. The cost of the form is ₦12,500.
About Kanu Nwankwo
Nwankwo Kanu, a former striker, is now a UNICEF ambassador and the founder of the Kanu Heart Foundation. He has won numerous accolades, including a UEFA Champions League medal, a UEFA Cup medal, three FA Cup Winners Medals, and two African Player of the Year awards.
Kanu is a rare talent, having won a Premier League title, an FA Cup, a Champions League, a UEFA Cup, and an Olympic Gold Medal. He began his career in Nigeria and quickly made a name for himself, scoring 25 goals in 54 appearances for AFC Ajax in 1993.
In 1996, Kanu moved to Inter Milan and captained the Nigerian national team to a gold medal victory at the Olympics. His memorable performance included scoring two late goals in the semi-finals against Brazil to lead Nigeria to a 4-3 victory in extra time. For his outstanding achievements, Kanu was awarded the African Footballer of the Year award that same year.
Nwankwo Kanu’s career timeline
- Ajax: 1993-1996
- Inter Milan: 1996-1999
- Arsenal: 1999-2004
- West Bromwich Albion: 2004-2006
- Portsmouth: 2006-2012
- Nigeria U17: 1993
- Nigeria U23: 1996
- Super Eagles of Nigeria: 1994-2011
With that being said, let’s get back to the main topic.
The Papilo Football Academy in Nigeria was established to mold young players into professional footballers, just like its owner who was once a product of an academy himself.
Nwankwo Kanu, driven by his passion for football, founded the academy to provide a platform for raw talents from different parts of Nigeria to be discovered and nurtured.
Since its establishment, the academy has produced many successful players who have gone on to represent the national team. Over the years, the academy has successfully transferred more than 10 players abroad, including well-known names like Joel Obi of Inter Milan and Stanley Okoro of Battista, nicknamed “Little Messi.”
In addition, the academy has formed the core of the Papilo Football Club team, which in just three years was promoted to the Nigeria National League (NNL) division. The club has also established a relationship with Leeds United Football Club in the United Kingdom. To further enhance the development of the academy players, Kanu has leveraged his connections to bring in top foreign coaches, such as Bryan Robson and Gary Smith, to conduct short courses and training sessions for the students.
In 2018, several players from the Papilo Football Academy were invited to participate in training sessions at Leeds United Football Club, with plans to continue the collaboration in 2019.
The team will be competing in the Nationwide League One and has also secured a partnership with Vandrezzer Oil Services. The team has exceeded expectations and there are aspirations to continue their development, to elevate the team to the Premier League in the near future.
Nwankwo Kanu has invested over 100 million Naira in the club since its founding and the team is working to complement his efforts to bring his vision for the academy and football club to fruition. The academy, located at Nwankwo Kanu’s private estate on Egbu Owerri Road, currently has more than 200 players on its roster.
Major achievements of Papilo Football Club
- Won the State FA Cup in 2016
- Promoted to the National League from Nationwide One in 2016
- A two-time finalist in the State FA Cup
Papilo Football Club, established by Nwankwo Kanu, serves as a platform for young players to develop their skills and talents. In an interview with Kanu Sports TV, Kanu stated, “We have a football academy and a club all in one, and our goal is to provide a platform for young players to hone their talents and make a career for themselves.”
To improve the welfare and conditions of the players, Kanu launched a N50 million fund for Papilo FC. However, it was later reported that Kanu sold the club due to frustration with teams not winning based on their performance.
Instead, Kanu redirected his efforts to his passion project, the Kanu Soccer Academy, which provides professional football coaching for boys and girls aged 6 to 17, including outfield players and goalkeepers. The team is led by Player Development Director, Nwankwo Kanu, and is staffed by experienced, FA and UEFA-qualified coaches with clear criminal record checks. The focus of the Kanu Soccer Academy is on developing individual player skills and techniques, and with Kanu’s extensive professional playing experience and connections in the soccer world, each player will have opportunities to play and develop regardless of age and level.
There were conflicting reports about whether Kelechi Iheanacho had represented Papilo Academy before transferring to Manchester City. When contacted, Kanu’s elder brother, based in Owerri, declined to comment on the reports.
How much is the fee Papilo Football Academy?
The cost of registration for Papilo football academy is ₦12,500. If you’re looking to learn how to register, contacting the phone number provided above can be quite beneficial.
Do academy players get paid?
Young players may join academies starting at the age of 7, but they will not receive any compensation until they sign a scholarship agreement with the club, which can be offered to them once they reach the age of 15.
How many times a week do academy footballers train?
The club provides its football education by conducting training sessions at its own training facility. Typically, academies hold two to three sessions each week, with the addition of a weekend match against another academy team or a local team.
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