As the game of football continues to evolve, so as players, management input and facilities surrounding player development and growth, makes a visible positive change to the game itself.
The modern day structure of the game has seen football centres, mostly especially, academies not only sharpening the player on the field but classroom, the use of the class as a perfect start.
Hence, players are able to acquire both the class and the field knowledge and a perfect example can be noted of ‘Right to Dream’ in Ghana where they inculcate British curricula into their students/players who either ends up with universities in The UK or high schools in the USA, giving better options to their recruits and easier way to other than a restricted path associated with many clubs in West African countries solely focused on football.
A trip to Rabat, Morocco, for the 14th Edition of the Total Africa Women Cup of Nations abbreviated WAFCON, created a chance to touring some football centers with the intervention of a fellow Journalist and Moroccan official, Fatima Bartali, paving way for interesting revelation into the amazing premises of one community based club, Fath Union Sports.
The Rabat based club, established in 1946, once conquering Africa in 2010 in CAF Confederation Cup as well as the the league trophy in 2016 and 6x winners of the National Cup also known as the Throne Cup, opened their arms into the commencement of my exciting tour of their magnificent edifice.
I entered their library center and chanced upon a player in the early twenties vividly glowed to a book looking undistracted. Through my curiosity, I drew closer to enquire how a well-built footballer, can be seen alone and focused in an enclosed library and this was what transpired upon questioning reasons for studying, why he chose to stay in FUS club and the right structures offered by FUS to help him stay on track both on and off the pitch. Through the help of my friend, Fatima Bartali, I was pleased to learn more from what the club offers players within the club.
“I want to succeed in my sports career and also studies and be a doctor. I want to play at a very high level and I think that sports and study are linked. If you study a lot, you an be a better player on the pitch”, he stated.
“FUS has a study director, she’s a woman and she helps the players to combine studying and training session during the day. It’s also one of my purpose to have a diploma. If you want you can, it’s a challenge for me”.
“I had offers but I choose to stay, infact because they are the best club in terms of facilities and FUS puts the players in professional conditions and FUS is almost the only club in Morocco who helps the players to learn and play at the same time”, he noted.
At Age 16, Kamil Arif, had three international games under then U-17 Moroccan coach Nasser Larguette.
But at age twenty, the combative midfielder hopes to look at a different direction after life in football of which FUS has prepared the foundation for every player within their setup just incase of an unforeseen circumstances.
Lots of players like Kamil Arif, are benefiting greatly from policies of other future pathways but life’s of plenteous players especially in the sub Saharan African have been stuck on pathways upon injuries that seems unrecoverable and stay blurred on their next journey bringing unfulfilled dreams and seemingly hopeless in life’s achievement.
Could all athletes be offered other options than football, they would definitely return to their first passion and do great inputs into the game and offered best advice to younger ones but observe from a lengthy view and quiz, where does life lead the majority who never make great cash of the game, where life leads them without options?