You should make up your mind that you want to pursue a professional football career as a player. There is a whole difference between playing football as a hobby or a form of exercise and playing football as a profession.
You may have chosen another trade or profession and only play football as a hobby, so you put in more time, more money to develop your trade and only play football when you have a spare time. Playing professional football requires all your time. You eat, sleep and dream football all the time.
Now, it is so important like any other profession, that you should plan your career path. You may have all the great talent and end up playing football in your street or village and you only become a local star without making a dime only accolade from neighbors and girlfriends.
The sad thing is you will soon discover you are getting old without making any headway. So, you begin to think of another trade late in life.
Look, don’t suffer for nothing. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Tell yourself the truth early in life. If you do not have the basic talent to play football, do not deceive yourself, look for another trade. Then if you have all the talent, settle down to work. Develop your talent and plan your career.
Decide where you think you can start. Start from a reputable football academy to develop your talent and stop playing street football with those who play football for fun. They will kill your career. They could injure you or distract you.
Develop your Football, Join a Football Academy in Nigeria
There is many local football clubs that claims they are football academies, but are organized by quack coaches and managers without any formal training. This kind of local clubs may not help your career much.
You may not be able to develop tactical skill that will give you the competitive edge in your career.
You may not be able to make contact with real scouts or licensed agents.
There are two good academies in Nigeria. They are Pepsi Football Academy and Kwara State Football Academy.
Pepsi Football Academy: This academy is international standard. They have qualified coaches. The head coach is Laloko. A renowned professional coach in Nigeria. Coach Stationary FC Lagos and the junior national team.
Pepsi Football Academy has raised a lot of young stars that now has a flourishing football career. Notable among them is Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC England), Chinedu Obasi (Hoffenbrug FC Germany), Victor Nsofor (Inter-Milan FC Italy) etc.
Kwara State Football Academy: Kwara state football academy is the only football school in Nigeria. Presently run by the most successful Nigeria national team Coach, Clemence Westerhof.
The school is already graduating players and many of them are sent to the youth teams of well established clubs like Barcelona, Athletic Madrid, Inter-Milan etc. Many of them have been called to the U16 national team already.
There are other well-established academies with well-trained officials. You have to look out for the closest one in your area and join them immediately. Remember I said, stop playing street football!
You may decide to start with a Nigerian professional club to develop your talent or you may choose to start with a foreign youth team.
Starting with a Nigerian Professional Football Club:
If you decide to start with a Nigerian professional club, then you will involve yourself to finding out who will introduce you to any of the clubs or you put your ears to the ground to find out when they have their trials (screening) and you take the bull by the horn to attend.
Many professional clubs start their trails a month after the end of the previous football season. So put your ear to the ground to find out the time the club you have in mind will start their trials.
As a rookie, I advise you to plan to attend as many trials as you can, so you could gain experience on the best way to pass a trial and get a contract.
Starting With a Foreign Youth Club:
If you are still young (between the ages of 16 to 18years) then, you may decide to start with a foreign youth club. To get a foreign youth club, you require a License Agent or a scout of that foreign club. Therefore, you should involve yourself in looking for an agent or scout.
There are many scouts in Nigeria now. Some scout for foreign clubs while some scout for Licensed Agents. Find out the one you are dealing with and make sure the scout is not impersonating. Original scout will show you his affiliation letter and you can verify through phone or email.
We also have Licensed Agents recognized by FIFA. You can get their contact at www.fifa.com
Things you should do immediately to get a club to invite you for trials abroad:
Now that you have made up your mind to pursue a professional football career, you must be determined to make the best out of it. You must be determined to make millions of dollars while you are still on top of your game.
Many say, football is not a career.
It is true! Your football career could just end in the next game with a major injury or your playing form could just drop and no club is willing to give you another contract. Your services are no longer needed any more. Football playing career is a very short career. Only very few players could still play at 40years. At 35years, it is over for you.
Therefore, you should move immediately and very fast too. Get all the attention you need and make all the money you require in life now.