Members of Gidi Sharks during a training session ahead of the 2017 Copa Lagos Beach Soccer Championship, which holds from December 8 to 10 at the Eko Atlantic.
• Team to meet Arsenal in opening game
The annual beach soccer tournament, COPA Lagos, organized by Kinetic Sports has unveiled the first Lagos based beach soccer team, Gidi Sharks. This is the first time in the tournament that local talents will be participating in COPA Lagos, which would hold from December 8 to 10 at Eko Atlantic City.
Gidi Sharks was selected by Swiss beach soccer veteran and FIFA Instructor, Angelo Schirinzi, alongside National Beach Soccer Coach, Adamu Ejo. The team comprises beach soccer talents from the different parts of Lagos State, who were all selected during a talent scout programme sponsored by FCMB, Pepsi, Hero Lager and VisionScape.
The selected players will get the opportunity of a lifetime to play their first match with the European club champion, Arsenal Beach Soccer team.
According to a statement by the organisers of the event, 10 players each were selected from Tarkwa Bay and Badagry. “From Ojo and Ebute Metta, 11 and 18 players were selected respectively.
“The 50 players were then pruned down to 23 provisional players, who will go through intensive training in a two-week Boot Camp to be facilitated by Swiss beach soccer veteran and FIFA Instructor, Angelo Schirinzi, who will coach the players for their first match at COPA Lagos. In camp, the first team made up of 10 players will be selected to play Arsenal BSC at COPA Lagos 2017.
Speaking on the team, Angelo Schirinzi said, “Nigeria has potential in football and it can be seen at every street corner. We intend to make them professional players.”
The Managing Director of Kinectic Sport, Samson Adamu, while speaking to reporters recently, said, “We brought in one of the best coaches in the world to scout for players in from different parts of Lagos. Beach Soccer is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and we are making an early entry advantage.
“I believe we have a good number of beach soccer talents, we are a country with a huge passion for soccer and most people have being played soccer on sand from a young age. Our goal is to develop a beach soccer league and we are starting with Gidi Sharks, using them as Ambassadors who will develop beach soccer teams in their respectively communities.”
Every edition of COPA Lagos brings a unique offering and this year’s tops the excitement, not only with the regular feature of sport, music, dance, fashion, fans’ zone and celebrity entertainment, but also, the introduction of a Female Celebrity Match and the “Lagos-based” beach soccer team, Gidi Sharks, who will be playing their first match against Arsenal beach soccer team.