St. George’s Park Welcomes Nike’s Newest Young Hopefuls
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 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.
“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.
About Nike Most Wanted
Nike Most Wanted – previously known as Nike’s The Chance – gives amateur, unsigned footballers from around the world an opportunity to earn a place in The Nike Academy at St. George’s Park, the home of the England National Team, and develop their skills in front of elite coaches and mentors from the pinnacle of the sport.
The Nike Football App enabled players in 20 countries to register for an invitation to trial for Nike Most Wanted, with coaches at local tryouts selecting finalists who participated at the Global Showcase. This is a twice-yearly initiative.
Since 2009, the program has given thousands of young footballers access to elite training opportunities, and 50 Nike Academy alumni have gone on to earn professional contracts.