Bui Power Authority says it is committed to helping identify and harness talented footballers within its enclave.
Through the Authority’s Talent Development Program, 5 players have been selected to train with the John Paintsil Football Academy for a year.
This comes after a week’s gala competition at Bui involving teams from 16 communities with 290 players, out of which the “fantastic 5”, namely Robert Semba Bio, Kofi Kane, Collins Adoesom, Saani Mohammed, and Emmanuel Jimah, were selected.
The competition is the vision of the BPA Chief Executive, Kofi Dzamesi, to expand its annual community fan games into the Talent Development Program to unearth talents in the Banda and Bole districts of the Bono and Savannah Regions, respectively.
Powered by the community relations unit, led by Gabriel Apatu, the opportunity is also expected to sharpen the skills of the selected players for a brighter future.
Speaking after the ceremonial match, Wumbilla Salifu, Director of Estate, BPA, who was impressed with the communities’ involvement and the competition, said John Paintsil, the proprietor of the academy, will help fine-tune the talents of those joining the academy.
“Hopefully we expect that these people will grow up and even play for our national teams. It would serve as motivation for other young talents to keep practicing, and hopefully, one day, they will also go to the academy where their talents can be further sharpened”, he explained.
He also said the Authority has advanced plans to boost sports infrastructure with the construction of an Astroturf to promote football in the area.
“For us, we view the Bui hydroelectric project, not just in terms of the power generation, but it is management’s conviction that it should bring benefit to the community. We are a country that loves football. So this is just one of the efforts we want to get people off the street, focus on their studies and also take football as a career as well”.
Chief of Bui, Nana Kwadwo Wuo II, thanked BPA for the opportunity offered to the players and urged them to work hard and be obedient so they can reach their full potential.
Ex-Black Stars player, John Paintsil, who led the selection process said the players are already made, and not much is needed to sharpen their skills.
“I will teach them how a player becomes a professional player and be disciplined, on and off the pitch, learn to respect time, and the professionalism in football”, he stressed.
Citing himself as an example, John Paintsil said young footballers need to be taught about life after football and how to take advantage of the opportunities available.
“John Paintsil academy would also teach them how to comport themselves during the game and after they retire”, he noted.
The climax of the week’s competition saw some ex-Black Stars players, including John Paintsil, Isaac Vorsah, Peter Ofori Quaye, Kofi Amponsah, Dan Quaye, Patrick Villars, and former Black Queens goalkeeper, Memunatu Sulemana play a ceremonial match against a select side from the competition. The ex-players lost 2-1.
Bongase earlier won the Bui Power Cup after beating Kabrono 1-0, while New Longoro won the third spot after a penalty shootout against Bamboi.
Awards and trophies were given to the top teams. Robert Semba Bio won best player, Peter Anane was best goalkeeper and Collins Adoesom won discovery player.
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