17th February, 2011
Kamilu Banjo is the team manger of the Kamilu Banjo Academy. He spoke about his football career and his academy with SUNDAY AKINTOYE
Sir, when did you establish Banjo Football Academy?
I started the academy in 2004 with eight players but todayÂ Â I can boast of at least 30 players. I have different age categories of players up till U-17.
What are the achievements of the academy since inception?
We have not really achieved compare to other academies that haveÂ good management in place. For now, you cannot compare my academy with Pepsi Academy, so we are trying our best.
You have not told our readers what your Academy has achieved?
I am happy that Ahmed Ibrahim, one of the goalkeepers of Union Bank FC, started his football career with my academy before he got an offer from the Union Bank FC
Why did you say we cannot compare your academy with other academies?
I only sponsor and handle my academy. There are many things I want to put in place but I donâ€™t have enough fund. If you look at some academies, they have everything to succeed.
What plans do you have for the academy this year?
I want to register for Boska Cup and other high profile competitions. I have told my players to be ready for the big challenges ahead.
Wonâ€™t you register your academy for the Lagos State Challenge Cup?
I will not register my academy now because my players are too young for the competition. Matured clubs play Lagos FA Cup not academies.
Did you play football in your youthful age?
I played for Gbobi College against Finbars College in 1984 Lagos Principal Cup when we lost 0-1 to our opponents. It was so painful because we played well that year. It was my performance in Principal Cup that I was invited to Golden Eaglets for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in China.
Did you make the final list?
I did not make the final list because of the minor injury I suffered then. Secondly, I was dropped because I didnâ€™t have a God fatherÂ to help me.
So, you did not play for national team throughout your football career?
My only regret is that I didnâ€™t play for my fatherland during my active football days. IÂ was also invited to camp for U-23 National team in 1995 ahead of the Atlanta Olympic Games. But I was also dropped at the last minutes when the professional players joined the team later.