French football giants, Olympique Marseille will open a football school in Port Harcourt, Nigeria at the end of January 2021, the club announced on its website.
This will b its third football academy in the continent after the creation of the OM School label in Tunis and Algiers in 2019.
It said the network of soccer schools for young Nigerians will be established at the Sports Institute of the University of Port Harcourt, in partnership with Vandyke Sports.
The club stated that the complex hosting the OM School program composes of 4 soccer fields (11 a side), a gym, athletic tracks, an infirmary, as well as classrooms, offices, a club house and finally hotel residences.
It added that currently, the school has 200 students, who will be able to benefit from Olympique de Marseille training methodology from the end of January. In addition to the sports aspect, the club would like to set up multiple operations such as the creation of social projects carried by the club’s foundation, OMFondation, the organization of a local competition or the foundation of a Fan Club in Port Harcourt. Finally, when sanitary conditions permit, the club hopes to organize an inauguration event on site in the company of former players of the club.
Olympic Marseille Executive Vice President, Laurent Colette while officially presenting the project during an online press briefing with some Nigerian media on Monday, “Olympique de Marseille is honored and thrilled to open this very first OM school in Nigeria.
“Nigeria is a country which loves football and strong and constant generator of talents, such as for example Taiwo who played for us not so long ago. We are delighted to share our way to understand football and values around it to Nigerian kids and staff.
“We want to create a platform for youth development and for young players no matter their level of skills. We will visit when we can travel again freely and we are looking forward to visiting Nigeria.”
Jeremy Sauvan, International Project Manager of Olympic Marseille added that the port Harcourt football academy “will have a Technical Director Visiting and eventually have a resident Director to ensure that the right technical knowledge is imparted to both Players and Nigerian Coaches.”
Speaking, Emeka Enyadike, CEO of VanDyke Sports and Director of OM School Port Harcourt expressed his delight in having the OM, one of the biggest clubs in Europe, in creating a world class sports development platform.
He said, “Our vision for creating the Vandyke Sports Innovation Hub and partnership with the University of Port Harcourt is to create a world class sports development platform across numerous sporting codes with the right International expertise.
“We are happy to welcome Olympique Marseille as our Football program partner with the launch of the OM School Port Harcourt at the University of Port Harcourt Sports Institute.
“Olympique Marseille is one of the biggest clubs in Europe and an iconic brand, and along with us, they share a flair for education, character building, entertainment and a deep passion for Africa. Abedi Pelé, Basile Boli, Didier Drogba, and Nigerian Stars, Taiye Taiwo and Wilson Oruma are testament of the platform they have always provided for African Talent.”