The PFA UK scholarship students recently spent their half-term holiday period all together at Brooke House College in Market Harborough, England.
Larry Egunjobi travelled by train from St. Bede’s to join the others at BHC.
Larry is not only celebrating his St. Bede’s team success at winning the 6-a-side Sussex Cup but also having been selected to represent England with the English Schools in their forthcoming match against Scotland.
The match, which is to be played at the Heart of Midlothian stadium in Edinburgh, will be watched by the PFA Consultant, Iain Nelson.
As a Scot, Iain Nelson has already told Larry that he is not supporting him!!
The Brooke House College PFA contingent is presently reflecting on a most successful football season which is now coming to a close.
They were runners up in their league to Derby [just one point behind] and to date they have the following match statistics:
Interestingly enough, within these statistics, our PFA players have contributed to almost 50% of the goals for Brooke House this season!!
All our PFA scholarship players are thousands of miles away from their families and Nigeria and they are at school and playing football abroad in the UK.
Certainly their feedback, will be of interest to most of our young and aspiring Pepsi Football Academy players.
Ibrahim Odeyinka: “I like the life in the UK....always good when adapting to everything in it, like weather, food and lots more. The facilities here are first class, this encourages us to train and play football well.“
[Ibrahim is studying Economics and Business Studies]
Eris Okoeguale: “I like their breakfasts here, they are good!! If the weather is not extremely cold, it’s also good. The people around seem very friendly and I generally like it here.
About football, it’s a whole lot different from Nigeria; more of tactics and speed in the game here.”
[Eris is studying Economics and Art]
Adebayo Ajidahun: “My experience so far in England has been fantastic in so many ways. Socially, morally, academically and in my football career. The style of playing in England is very fast and I have discovered that I have to put in all my effort both on and off the pitch.
Socially it has been great because I have made a lot of friends with nice people, both students and staff which has made my time at Brooke House great.
Academically it has not been easy because classes are always after training and there are times that I will be tired but still have to go for my classes and find the time to study.
My experience generally has been great because I have learnt so many things about life and at the same time I have been enjoying myself!
I just want to thank God for everything and a big thanks to Pepsi and the Pepsi Football Academy and Brooke House College management for granting me this great opportunity.
[Adebayo is studying Business Studies and Economics]
George Afakpe: “The subjects that I am studying are Mathematics, ICT and Mechanics.
Schooling here is very effective in a student life because the teachers show more interest in teaching and they are willing to help.
The weather here is so different from what we experience at home in Nigeria......times like December, January, February were very cold when the temperature was at freezing point. This has been difficult for someone like me who has been used to an average temperature of 30c for all my life.
The approach to football in the UK is very different and it has helped me a lot in terms of fitness level, speed and communication.
I have also gained a lot of experience in the game through playing against such pro sides as Reading, Rotherham, Cambridge and Newcastle.
Haroun Ayeni: “My first impression about England is that the country is a home of opportunities. In everything you do here, there is a place where you can learn to be better at it and no talent you have is wasted.
Additionally, it’s a very nice and beautiful place to be.
Comparing England to Nigeria, there are differences! The weather here is sometimes terrible especially during winter but it’s considerably manageable during the summer.
The food here is also good and I think they have a good and interesting culture also.
Pertaining to football, the speed in England is thrice as fast and everything is done at high tempo. This certainly makes the fitness level here high.
Fast players are loved in England because of the way teams play from their defence, always using the widemen.
[Haroun has independently obtained his scholarship directly through Brooke House College]
Usman Bello: “What impresses me most in the UK is that it has a good learning environment for one to be a better player because their coaches are qualified UEFA coaches and they pay attention to everything that could affect one’s performance.
Also, the football pitches, pre-match meals, approach to games are top notch in the UK.
I have also been lucky to have had trials with three professional clubs and next month I hope to be playing against Newcastle United and then travelling to play in a tournament in Denmark with Cambridge United.
What I do not really like is that I don’t really have time for myself because we train in the morning and, immediately after, go to classes which is difficult.
My advice to aspiring footballers in the Pepsi Football Academy who might be reading this is to treat every training session and match like a Cup Final.
Football is not all about your talent, your attitude plays a pivotal role in how far you can get in the game of football. You need to be patient and improve on your weaknesses because football in the UK is completely different from what we have in Nigeria.
Have self-belief and above all believe in God.”
[Usman is studying Government & Politics, Sociology and English Literature]