Betway focuses on developing youth football
Betway Talent Search has been doing tremendous work to help improve football in Africa and their latest focus has been on Ghanaian football. A new generation of 24 players have been chosen as part of the squad that will compete for a professional contract. Casino operator Betway have not just been signing sponsorship deals with major clubs like Hannover, but there has also been a key focus on developing youth football across the world.
Moses Gitau and Mark Nthiwa are the past winners who have been able to embark on a professional career due to the numerous efforts taken by the sports betting firm. The duo hail from Kenya and were given exclusive 12-day access to West Ham United as a reward for their success.
The process of helping to improve Ghanaian football is being led by the presence of Stephen Appiah, the brand ambassador. The Talent Search team has been organising camps in order to identify players in the age group of 18-25. The camp includes an extremely strong scout team apart from Appiah. They include Godfrey Malambule, Eric Antwi Ofori, Maxwell Konadu, Mohammed Gargo, Seth Pearson, Sam Johnson, and Godfred Aduobe.
Appiah has been extremely delighted with the contribution of Betway to Ghanaian football and he expects a few players to even progress to the Premier League standards. He said: “When it comes to talents, Ghana is the best.
“Our goal is seeing some of these players play outside the country. We have seen lots of talents so far. Last year at a point we were asking ourselves, are all these talents in Ghana. Some of these players have the qualities to play in the Premier League.”
The players picked up from the camps will be put through rigorous training sessions and fitness schedules. Apart from improving themselves on a physical note, the schedule also includes seminars that try to educate about the various do’s and don’ts for a footballer.
The latest success for the project came in the form of a 3-0 friendly win for the 24-man squad. Betway Talent Search team were up against Liberty Professionals at the Lizzy Sports Complex in Ghana. The team also plays against Medeama Sporting Club in another friendly game.
Betway has a major advantage by sponsoring major leagues like the Bundesliga 2 and there are also plenty of clubs under the wings of the sports betting firm. Betway recently penned an agreement with La Liga outfit Leganes to become the new shirt sponsor. This is in addition to the huge amount of traction that the brand enjoys in the Premier League.
The sponsored clubs under the arm of Betway are Medeama Sporting Club, Aduana Stars Football Club, Ashgold Sporting Club, and Liberty Professionals Football Club. These clubs are part of the Ghanaian Premier League. It is a commendable achievement that eight players who emerge as winners from the exercise will be provided with a chance to play for these clubs. This could act as the springboard to becoming noticed by scouts of major European clubs. Players will be assessed on several aspects like technique, physicality, mentality, and tactical awareness.
One of the major hindrances towards the discovery of talented youngsters in the region is a lack of infrastructure facilities in good numbers, but the availability of such high-quality programs aims to address the issue. It is no surprise that youngsters in Ghana have taken to the program in a big way.
The early stages of the talent search exercise witnessed a huge turnaround of youngsters. Former Ghana defender Mohammed Gargo was extremely happy to witness a turnaround of more than 300 youngsters for the second round of the camp. Back then, he said: “We are happy with what we have seen today in Cape Coast. We have been able to identify some great talents here. Cape Coast has been amazing.”
The Talent Search arm of Betway was introduced only in 2017 but it has already gained a lot of traction in this part of the world. Over the years, Ghana has produced some great footballers like Michael Essien but the consensus is that the talent pool may have dried up. More programs like Betway Ghana’s Talent Search will help address the void.
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