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Sunderland to visit Ghana at the end of the season

Posted on: Mon Jan 30, 2012

English Premier League side, Sunderland are billed to visit Ghana at the end of their Premier League season. The International Director of Sunderland, Niall Quinn made this disclosure at a press conference in Kumasi last Friday.

He said his club was delighted to have signed a three-year partnership with Kumasi Asante Kotoko as part of which they intend to visit Ghana.

The management of Kotoko led by the Executive Chairman, Dr. K. K. Sarpong, it would be recalled visited Sunderland last year, and returned home to announce a significant partnership agreement. “The first time I visited, I came back and gave them the news and everybody is looking forward to the partnership” said Dr. Sarpong at Friday’s press conference.

“Now that formal agreement has been signed, the long formal agreement, we can look at the derivables and implement them. The good news is that we are delighted you have accepted to host our Head Coach for two weeks” continued Dr. Sarpong.

Niall Quinn, the ex-footballer and former chairman of Sunderland, in response first used the opportunity to debunked assumptions that Sunderland were here for the purposes of exploitation.

“We hope to bring the team down here at the end of the season. We want to really drive home the fact that we are a different football club. We are not a crass commercial club trying to exploit areas of the world for pure finance, not at all! We are here for the long haul; we think the community is the most important part of our football” he stated.

Asked about the specific areas of help Sunderland would offer Kotoko, Niall Quinn said his club would offer structures where they could show the blueprint of what they have done for example for their young kids in football.

“We have two types – the generally young people who have come to us. Our foundation works hard with links to the schools and roll out programmes for football-based education. For instance we will bring kids to our games and ask them to do a report for the games. So for their English, they got to do their report and the best one gets published in the newspaper every week” said Quinn.

He also touched on what plans they have for grooming senior players. “For the elite players, we will show the blueprint of how we bring our children in at eight years of age, how we organize training for them in safe environments, how we improve aspects of the game so that by the time they are 12 and14, they will be a long way on. From what I gather, the current set-up here doesn’t go down that low so we got to try and do something about that”.

The Sunderland Director spoke well about their foundation and what they intend to do with Kumasi Asante Kotoko in Ghana. “We have a fantastic foundation. We will be on the ground rolling out academies, rolling out our football-based education projects, not just for the elite players which we will help but also all people who like football.”

Niall Quinn in addition touched on the power of football saying, “You can learn through football, you can use the power of football to educate. We believe that with what we want to roll out in Ghana, by the time we are done, you will trust us; you will see that we are a friendly football club” he ended.

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