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September 24, 2023

Olympic Winning Coach Bonfrere Jo Poised To Discover Next National Team Prospect With Manchester City, E-commerce Firm

Written by Oluwaseun Oyediji

Atlanta 1996 Olympic winning coach, Johannes Bonfrere says grooming of young talents will go a long way in taking Nigeria football back to its pride of place in global soccer.

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Popularly known as “Bonfrere Jo”, the former coach of Nigeria’s senior national team during a press conference in Lagos, Nigeria, organised to intimate journalists on Qnet Youth Football Training Camp opined that with the talents discovered and nurtured at the Youth Football Training Camp, Nigeria have the possibility of building up a new national team.

“Most of the players at the clinic are boys between 16 to 17 years old with football skills but still have to improve their skills through good coaching and training. They need lessons from coaches otherwise Manchester City will never take them.” Bonfrere Jo told pressmen.

“There is a chance for them because they have shown us that they have the qualities otherwise another coach will not select them.

“With the selected 26 players, we have the possibility to build up a new national team if we do it well.”

26 players were selected from six South West states for the football clinic sponsored by the E-commerce firm, QNET tagged “QNET Coaching Clinic”.

The clinic aims to enable young footballers from different states to find common ground and a source of encouragement to envisage a better future.

Bonfrere Jo added: “In the country, there are some people that groom young football players and recommended players for the clinic in Abeokuta. There is no mistake in the qualities of these players. They all have good qualities in all departments of the field. With good training and coaching, they will be good players for the future of Nigeria. That is the reason for this training.”

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QNET Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, Trevor Kuna spoke on players’ selection criteria and reasons for starting the program in South West Nigeria.

He said: “The Football Associations from six different states had the criteria to recommend players with potential for different positions; strikers, midfielders, defenders, and goalkeepers to make sure there is a good mix of U-18 players.

“The reason for this was that when we partner with Manchester City in 2014, we chose to build our ground through community programs. We decided to choose the Southern states because that is where our offices are located in Lagos and Abuja. We have the infrastructure in these areas.

“The opportunity with Manchester City is once a year to organise a football clinic of this standard. We intend to increase the number of Nigerian youths that can acquire football skills and ensure they rise to become professional footballers. One of the visions of our founders is to touch the lives of a billion hearts through various means.”

The e-commerce company is a sponsor of ManCity and aimed to improve, develop, and support football across Nigeria.


For the girls, Trevor asserted that as a partner of the Manchester City Women’s team, it hopes to spread its program.

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This is in a bid to develop women’s football in Nigeria.

He added: “There are plans to look at what we could do for female players. The female players are concerned about emulating professional footballers. We also sponsor Manchester City Women’s team as well.

“Our plans also include empowering female football footballers in Nigeria.”

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