football academies in Nigeria

Football academies in Nigeria: all you need to know

Do you have what it takes to be the next Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, or Mbappe? You must have probably been looking for how to join a football academy in Nigeria. There are lot of football academies in Nigeria that you can join to start your journey towards becoming the next superstar. This is the best place to be as I will be walking you through everything you need to know about football academy.

I will be walking you through the meaning of a football academy. We will also see some of the benefits of joining a football academy, honing your talent, and even, choosing the right academy. Above all, I will show you how to make money from your God-given talent right in Nigeria.
Additionally, I will show you the best football academy in Nigeria that you can join. This exposition is not limited to Nigeria alone. It applies to all countries as the process is almost the same everywhere.

You are, however, advised to look for academies in your country using this article as a guideline in choosing the right club for your child or yourself.

Photo Credit: Explained

What is a football academy?

Photo Credit: FP

A football academy is a school that specializes in teaching different aspects of football to young people. In other words, a football academy is a school dedicated to the development of football players. The football academy is usually based on a particular club’s youth system and may be limited to players who have been released by their clubs for whatever reason. Football academies are usually funded through either the club itself or by a sponsor. These sponsors in return may have their companies’ logos or names displayed on the team’s kit. There are a lot of football academies in Nigeria – both known and yet to be known ones that you can join.

The main objective of any football academy is to train young players in order for them to reach their maximum potential in the sport.

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At what age can I join a football academy?

The age to join an academy is a thing of choice. Although, the word academy simply means that it is a place to study, learn, or train. So, if you want to learn, it has to be (ideally) when you are young. Depending on the choice and individual differences, an individual can join an academy at the age of 9. However, joining at a much later age is simply to ensure that certain organs of the body necessary for optimum performance are properly developed or developing. This applies to football academies in Nigeria and all over the world.

Photo Credit: FP

You can join a football academy in Nigeria at the age of 13 with the view of learning for 3 years. Professional contracts are signed all over the world from the age of 16 to 18 years. One thing to note is that age is not a constraint to joining a football academy as situations and conditions surrounding each individual are different. So, don’t be frustrated if you’re quite older than the aforementioned ages. You can become a professional footballer at any age. It all depends on the effort you put into training and developing.

Football academies in Nigeria have taken a queue from the practices in Europe.

Types of football academy

There are different types of football academies in the world. Each football academy is built upon certain precepts and principles. These guide the philosophy of the club leading to the type of club it would be. The facilities available to these academies also determine the type of academy it will be. Some types of football academies are listed below. According to Premier League Parents’ Handbook, there are four major categories of academies depending on the ages of the players, and I believe that some football academies in Nigeria are following the same trend. although England has a more structured football academy than most countries of the world.

  1. Category 1
  2. Category 2
  3. Category 3
  4. Category 4

Category 1

This is the highest classification awarded to an Academy. It is an elite environment where Academy Players are provided with additional access to coaching and the potential of full-time education from U12. Category 1 Academies can recruit nationally from U12 provided the Academy Player is guaranteed access to a full-time education programme.

Category 2

This is an elite development environment where Academy Players are typically recruited locally but gain access to additional coaching opportunities and educational support.

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Category 3

This is a development environment where Academy Players are provided with professional coaching and development opportunities.

Category 4

Academies focus on their coaching and educational support for Academy Players in the Professional Development Phase (U17 to U23) only.

Some football academies in Nigeria have produced players who have climbed through the rank at the international level for the country.

Football academies in Nigeria with residential facilities

The facility possessed by a football academy is one of the criteria that determines the type of academy. One of them is the residential facility. Quite a several big private schools in Nigeria also have football academy provide boarding facilities for their students and academy players. To know about the available academy that also has a residential facility, it is often ideal to call the office phone number of the academy to verify. Nonetheless, there are ample few football academies in Nigeria that have residential facilities. Some of the academies are in the table below with their contacts.

Names of AcademiesLocationwebsitetelephone
Pepsi Football Academy (PFA)Agege Stadium, 
 Abuja Football College (AFC) Wuse, Abuja Municipals Bwari 
Midas Soccer AcademySan-Siro Field Ikola, Ipaja Command Lagos
Kwara State Football Academy (KWFA)[email protected]
African Touch Football Academy Second Crescent, Abuja Municipal
City of David Football AcademyTesleem Balogun, Agege, Lagos  
Papilo Football Academy[email protected] 806 610 8842
Edo State AcademicalsEdo State  
Buruji Soccer AcademyIkorodu, Lagos State.
Pawas Soccer AcademyJos East, Plateau, Nigeria  
Football academies in Nigeria with residential hostels

How to know a good football academy to join.

As a parent looking for a good football academy for your child to join, the task involved in looking for a good one is not too different from the rigors of the task involved in finding a good school for your child. A good football academy is expected to take into consideration so many factors that will be geared towards the holistic development of the child. Additionally, the football academy should prioritize the academics of the players with the knowledge that nobody plays football forever. Thus, a good football academy should have a policy that will prepare a child for life after playing career.

Additionally, such a football academy must have multiple media at disposal, which will expose the player to opportunities within its system and outside the club or the country. Over the years, some of the football academies mentioned above have provided footballers who have represented/ are still representing the national team side, and are also playing at the highest level.

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How to join a football academy in Nigeria

There are various ways to join a football academy. Although, all these ways are dynamics concerning the individuals involved. I will list four of the ways below.

  1. Getting scouted during a football match or training session
  2. Getting a football agent to represent you
  3. Direct contact with the club to join for free
  4. Going for screening in different clubs

How to get scouted for a football

The major determinant of success here is hard work. If you have put your house in order, you can approach any football club and request a trial. If after the opportunity given to you, your admission into the team will be effortless. However, you must do this at the age at which the club management considers you to be teachable. In other words, a football academy wants a player that will be assuring growth.

What age is considered too old to join a football academy in Nigeria?

To be considered too old to join a football academy differs from one clime to the other and the circumstances surrounding it matter. If you are yet to turn 18 years years, you can still be considered to be within the age range. Any age older than that will require special intervention.

How to make money by joining football academy in Nigeria

Nothing good comes without a price. If you want to make money in the game of football generally, the academy is an avenue to groom yourself/hone your talent. So, looking out to the possibility of making money while in the academy has more evil than good that it will offer to the budding footballer.

It does not mean that there are no opportunities attached to joining an academy. A standardized academy will ensure that certain things are put in place for their special players. As some academics commercialize their activities, some are merely geared towards getting the best players and making them available for profit in the nearest future. Academies like this tend to send such budding footballers to school on scholarship. One of the academies that send their players to school in Nigeria is FC Ablaze.

So, as an academy player, you need to look more into developing your skills rather than seeking quick gratifications. Focus more on making yourself play better and become sinequanon to the squad you find yourself in.

Your turn to contribute

Now you know what some football academies in Nigeria are, how to join, and the possibility of making out a living from playing football. If you think that there is anything omitted from the article, kindly do well to comment below to help budding players in Nigeria and all over the world properly navigate through the ocean of finding the right football academy.


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  1. I want to b a footballer too ooo

  2. I heard not everyone that goes to an academy actually makes it in football
    How true is this

    1. Going to an academy does not guarantee your success in football. Just as going to school does not guarantee you a white collar job. Determination, discipline and hard work play their roles here. Above all, cue sera-sera; what will be will be.

  3. @dolapo, join a football academy if you can.

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