Feyenoord Soccer Schools head coach Mike Obiku, international development coach Melvin Boel and international relations manager Gido Vader are the officials expected to arrive from Holland. The trio will work with local coaches in order to be able to contribute to the development of Nigerian football. Furthermore, during two masterclasses they will work with the players of the four teams who have reached the final stages of the prestigious NNPC/Shell Cup. The NNPC/Shell Cup is a social investment initiative that was initiated in 1998 by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and its Joint Venture partners. Over the years it has grown and created a platform for the discovery of new football talents from secondary schools across the 36 states of Nigeria. The tournament has produced many players for Nigerian professional football. In the last 16 years, about 640,000 students from 32,000 schools have participated in NNPC/Shell cup championship.
'The underlying objective of the NNPC/Shell Cup is to ensure that talented youths are able to combine education with developing their football skills and career', says Gido Vader, manager of international relations at Feyenoord. 'The tournament has had success in reducing the number of school boys who have abandoned their education in pursuit of a football career. That is completely in line with many of the objectives of our corporate social responsibility programs and we are proud to be associated with the tournament as a partner.
SPDC’s Sustainable Development and Community Relations Manager, Mr. Igo Weli, said that the exposure of participants to foreign technical crew from the Feyenoord Football Academy of the Netherlands is meant to boost the tournament’s standard. The Semifinals take place at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos on May 22, while the third place and final matches will be on May 24 at the same venue. Weli said: “We have strengthened the partnership launched in 2014 with Feyenoord Rotterdam’s Youth Academy, one of the most successful youth academies in the world, to bring world-class coaching and player development expertise to Nigeria for the final stages of this event. 'The top 10 talents discovered during each edition will be awarded scholarships and each scholarship will cover the cost of each awardee’s secondary school education', says Mr Weli.