Nike opens the doors of St. George’s Park, the English Football Association’s National Football Centre and the Nike Academy’s permanent base, to 42 athletes this weekend for an annual, intensive three-day assessment in front of expert coaches, scouts and Nike Academy Manager, Jon Goodman.
The competition, which concludes a global search for the best unsigned footballers, Nike Most Wanted, fills positions at The Nike Academy. Given the Nike Academy’s sustained strength and recent results, including last week’s 2-1 victory over FC Barcelona U19 at Wembley Stadium, this year’s Global Showcase is fiercer than ever.
Nike Academy Manager, Jon Goodman announced the 10 young players who will join his elite development squad for the 2016 season. William Tsobgni Dongmo (France), Sinn’kaye Christie (UK), Ramarni Edmonds (UK), Ilias Yagou (Netherlands), Izaque Santos (Brazil), Nassim L’Ghoul (France), Paul Tyson (UK), Fotis Stamatopoulos (Greece), Pontus Almqvist (Sweden), Matheus Batalha (Brazil), emerged as the latest winners of the Nike Most Wanted Global Showcase.
Nike Most Wanted continues to be a rigorous, but proven, process that we undertake in order to keep on improving the Nike Academy. I’m constantly impressed by the quality of the players we see coming through from all over the globe, and that’s been reflected in our selection this weekend.
“As a team, we’re excited to start working with the footballers who excelled during this experience, and to continue developing them into elite-level players,” said Goodman.
Barclays Premier League and Belgian international midfielder, Kevin De Bruyne, who was on hand to meet the finalists and discuss his own career to date, joined Goodman and his team on the final day of the Nike Most Wanted Global Showcase.
“I was lucky enough to attend the UK Nike Most Wanted finals, too, so it’s been great to be part of the full journey. I’m always inspired when I see enthusiastic young players with such a passion for the game.
“I know the competition is tough in situations like this, but for the 10 players that were selected, and for anyone trying to make it in football, my advice would be to keep your love of the game alive, and strive to be better every single day,” said De Bruyne.