COPA Lagos, the annual Beach Soccer tournament began this year with its talent scout initiative.FIFA instructor and multiple award-winning Coach, Angelo Schirinzi accompanied by theNigerian National Beach Soccer Team Coach, Audu Ejo Adamu kicked things off in great style.
The Talent Scout team visited various areas of Lagos within a three day period and selected aprovisional 23 players to take part in the Boot Camp in November and prepare them to playclub Challenge event at COPA Lagos 2017.
During the final selection process of the 23 players, Angelo Schirinzi said “Nigeria has greatpotential in beach soccer and it can be seen at every street corner. We intend to make themprofessional players.” The first match of the team of carefully selected players will be at COPALagos 2017.
Now in its 7thyear running, COPA Lagos Beach Soccer Tournament has become one of the mostanticipated events in the country. An all-female and all male celebrity match is in the offing thisyear with side-attractions like a fashion show, a massive closing ceremony, a mega after-partyamongst others to give beach soccer lovers an enriched experience.
The tournament this year is supported by top brands such as, First City Monument Bank (FCMB),Pepsi,Eko Atlantic, Wakanow, Hero Lager amongst many other stellar organizations supportingthe 2017 Edition of COPA Lagos.
It was a tough task for the beach soccer players as most of them were naïve about the rules –some thought it was conventional football and wore their boots to the field. In the end it was allfun and ten of the best players from Takwa Bay were selected to the next round.
The Talent Scout team also showed up at Asakpo Beach Resort, Badagry where more beachsoccer talents were discovered.
The players there were put in two teams and intermittently,players were substituted to allow more people participate. Then the best players from Badagrywere pitched against each other in two teams from which the top ten players from Badagrywere picked.
The third location for the COPA Lagos 2017 Talent Scout team was St. Michael’s Primary School,Ojo. FIFA Instructor, Angelo Schirinzi reeled out the criteria for selection.
He listedcommunication, transition, off-the-ball movement, control and team-awareness as essentialcriteria for success in Beach soccer.
The Talent Scout team was so impressed by the beach soccer players at Ojo that they selected18 players to move on to the next round of selection!
The fourth location for the Talent Scout team was Evans Square, Ebute Meta.
They werecharged to give their best and possess high spirits to be selected. It was an electrifyingatmosphere in Ebute Meta as the locals came out en-masse to support their own. Elevenplayers were chosen from the Ebute Meta Centre.
Finally, the selected players from the different locations converged at the Elegushi Beach Resort,where the final selection was to take place. Angelo Schirinzi and Adamu Audu Ejo were on handto take the 50 available players through rigorous beach soccer training routines.
The players were drilled and 23 players made it for the final round of selection in Novemberwhen the team will have a Boot Camp where the final 7 will be selected to play at the COPALagos 2017 main event.
The selected team will get the opportunity to play with the likes of Arsenal Bsc, S.S. Lazio andS.C Portugal at COPA Lagos 2017.
COPA Lagos 2017 promises to be the best ever. Let’s go to the beach.