Limerick’s new scouting network with City
By Cian Tracey
Limerick FC have announced an exciting new partnership with Manchester City and their ‘Right to Dream’ academy.
The Right to Dream programme was set up in 1999 by former Manchester United African scout, Tom Vernon. The non-profitable organisation is designed to develop and nurture young African footballers and prepare them for life in the professional game.
The 2012 Premier League champions played in a pre-season friendly in Thomond Park last August and Limerick Chief Executive John O’Sullivan explained that the two clubs have remained in contact since that game.
“Coming off the back of the friendly the chairman maintained a very good relationship with Man City. They were delighted with how their trip to Limerick went and were very impressed by the professionalism surrounding the whole club. We’ve been in regular contact with them ever since.”
O’Sullivan draws comparisons between how the ‘Right to Dream’ academy works and Barcelona’s La Masia and says there is a great emphasis on the player’s education as well as training.
“It very much opens up Limerick football club to a large scouting network in West Africa. We hope to be in a position to bring a couple of players in from ‘Right to Dream’ in every transfer window.
“These are lads that will have the ambition and the ability to move on from here and we have a deal in place that we can share any of the proceeds once a player does move on. It’s a huge deal for Limerick.”
Limerick have signed two players in goalkeeper Ali Abbas and midfielder Prince Agyemang through the programme and manager Stuart Taylor is enthusiastic about the link up with Manchester City.
“Both of these boys have incredible quality. I couldn’t believe the standard of the ‘Right to Dream’ setup. They’ve battered a few Premier League U19 sides already this year. We had a choice of players when we went over there two weeks ago. Man City had already taken four of them and we had a choice of the all the others. If we can get their clearances in time, they’ll feature this season but if not, they’ll be huge next season.”
Meanwhile, Limerick have also announced the signing of former Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest player, Cecil Nyoni. The Zimbabwean central defender will be included in their squad for the trip to Drogheda on Friday.
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