After the partnership with the Spanish club Racing Club Santander, the Derby Football Academy is pleased to announce the launch of its maiden project towards Asia, which guaranteed the transfer of 5 players to the Lebanese First Division for the 2022-23 season.
Samad Kadiri and Emmanuel Obere found their place at Al Ahed FC, defending league champions and the 2019 AFC Cup winners
Andrew Ikefe joined Shabab Al Sahel, they finished last season at fourth place.
Martins Usule and Innocent James signed with Salam Zgharta FC, the newly promoted team to first division.
The Lebanese first division is a great path for a lot of the players, as it can be a stepping stone towards bigger leagues. Many players had moved from this league towards Europe, like Roda Antar (Hamburg), Youssef Mohammad (Freiburg) and Mohammad Kallon (Inter). Also a lot of players went to play in the Asian far east leagues like Mohammad Ghaddar (JDT), Rabih Ataya (Kedah) and Hussein El Dor (PSM Makassar) or the Arabian Gulf like Hassan Maatouk (Fujairah) and Mohammad Haidar (Ettifaq).
The Derby Football project ensure diversified pathways for players wanting to play abroad, which broaden the selection process and make sure every player gets his chance to have a professional career outside of Nigeria and why not? Play one day at the highest stage possible.