Young footballers from around the world gathered at St. George’s Park this weekend for the 2016 Nike Academy’s Most Wanted Global Showcase.
Since 2009, Nike Most Wanted has provided thousands of young footballers access to elite training opportunities. This season, the Nike Academy program secured the signing of a number of its players to professional clubs: Connor Wood (Leicester City), Sean Clare (Sheffield Wednesday), Taofiq Olomowewe (Burnley FC), Fabian Senninger (Hanover 96), Emilio Martinez (Western Sydney Wanderers) Youri De Winter (Sparta Rotterdam) and Pontus Almqvist (IFK Norrkoping).
The 2016 Global Showcase granted unsigned footballers an opportunity to earn a place at Nike Football’s full-time football training program, where the 24-man squad develop their skills under the expert guidance of elite coaches and mentors. The three-day experience attracted 33 players from 17 countries to the English Football Association’s National Training Centre, and the Nike Academy’s permanent base, where they competed for a coveted place in the squad.
Not only do the players focus on game play and technical drills over the course of the weekend, but also match day tactics and analysis.
Nike Academy Manager, Jon Goodman announced the five players who will join his elite development squad for the 2017 season: Enzo Sauvage (France), Max Konrad (Germany), Alexander Panchenko (Russia), Erik Tovmasyan (Russia) and Cihan Saydam (Turkey).
Goodman notes, ‘We’ve been really pleased with the development of the current set of players we’re working with, so knew that the competition would be particularly tough at this Global Showcase. We saw some excellent talent on display this weekend and are really excited to work with the new players coming in to continue to strengthen the depth of our squad.”