Zobran Elias, a young player that Lilongwe-based Chigoli Football Academy sent to the United States of America for an academic scholarship at Indiana Mountain School where he will also continue with his football playing career, has settled down brilliantly into his new school settings and football wise he has scored 3 goals in 3 games.
Chigoli Academy Founder George Maguire said Elias is establishing himself as a key player in a holding midfield role for the IMS Varsity squad.
“He’s impressed everyone there with his conduct, attitude and performance to date,” Maguire said.
Elias became the first player to graduate from Chigoli and be sent outside the country and the opportunity to be considred for the US scholarship came about when the Academy made a profile video of him playing and was sent to contacts in US who got interested.
Maguire earlier told Nyasa Times that they then submitted his school reports and he had to take a number of entry tests and interviews to receive the scholarship. The school he is at offers a world class curriculum at an international level.
“He has aspiriations to become a neurologist so he will pursue medicine and the sciences. He is playing in their schools 1st team which has excellent facitilites and some great coaches to help develop his game.
“The structure of youth sport is very different in the US where top sporting players tend to graduate up through schools, colleges and universities entering the pro game through their draft system.
“In many ways this is better as education and sport go hand in hand. This is why at Chigoli Academy, we invest into private schooling for our players and have a big focus on education as well as football and character.”
Also benefiting from Chigoli is female top scoring player, Lughano Nyondo, who was enrolled at Bishop Mackenzie International School for two years following a very impressive year on the pitch and in the classroom last year.
Maguire said the aim is for her to access a US scholarship like Zobran in 2020, becoming their first female player to graduate from Chigoli.
Operating at Bishop Mackenzie, the academy was born in 2014 and has made huge strides to nuture the country’s brightest football talents and three of its products performed superbly at this year’s COSAFA Under-17 tournament held in Mauritius.
The three are Francis Mtoso, Emmanuel Mitole and Lovemore Mbeta, the first Chigoli’s products to be selected for national team.
Chigoli is nurturing young talent as well imparting academic education on the players, focussing on English and Maths which are taught by qualified teachers from Europe.
They also undergo character development sessions which are led by an experienced youth development specialist which ensure that all the players become well rounded individuals who are positive members of society.
Meanwhile, Maguire announced that he flies out to the US this month to promote Chigoli’s vision for elite youth development in East Africa at a series of events across the country.
“Working closely with Executive Director of Chigoli in USA, Chris Kaimmer, Chigoli shall visit New York, San Francisco and Seattle. Time will also be spent building relationships with key partners and visiting a number of schools and colleges.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :