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Surviving Dreams (AE)

Andrew Esiebo/Twenty Ten

Associated features: The Red Stars, South Africa (Photo feature), Football college, Nigeria (Photo feature), Ghana's future stars (Photo feature), A Dreaming Drogba, Liberia (Photo feature), Hogsback Lion Cubs (Photo feature), Ghana Legend (Multimedia feature), A coach with vision, Zambia (Multimedia feature)

Location: Nigeria

With a population of 148 million, Nigeria is not only the largest country in sub-Saharan African but it may well be the most soccer mad. Any open space, be it an empty ground under a flyover, a beach or a market, can be found transformed into a makeshift football pitch; its player dreaming of becoming Nigeria’s soccer stars.
‘Surviving Dreams’ is the story of coach/evangelist Sunny Omini, an ex-football star who promising career was cut short by injuries. He later went into coaching but quit suddenly to become a Christian missionary. Years later he returned to the game, setting up the Signal Meteor Football Academy, a grassroots training academy for young men in danger of social exclusion. Today, he works with around 30 young men on what he calls a ‘church on the field’, helping them to build a brighter future through soccer.

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