And now the real work begins

The competition on the final day of open trials for the Gulu United FC Youth Academy was fierce. We had the opportunity to bring together some of the best young footballers from Anaka, Awach, Lalogi, Pabbo and Gulu to show off their best skills, so they could prove their worth and earn a spot in the youth academy. Layibi2-Action-BrownSelections have been made (and it certainty wasn’t easy), but before we can let you know who will be joining us, we first have to notify the parents. Stay tuned for more announcements in January. Until then, here’s another great gallery of pics from the pitch (and we hope to have some video coming soon). Continue reading

And then there were 108

Lalogi-Action2On Saturday we wrapped up five straight days of navigating Gulu municipality, which included a dozen hours on bumpy dirt roads and almost 30 hours on the pitches, where we saw 1,000 of the area’s top young footballers. That long list of players has been trimmed to 108, with their ages ranging from 8 to 17. On Sunday, these boys will compete to become the first group accepted into the Gulu United youth academy, where they will be given the opportunity to be both full-time footballers and scholarship students at our two partner schools in Gulu. It’s going to be an amazing day. We also had great days at Lalogi and Layibi, so follow the link to see all 30 photos — and don’t miss the ‘pig taxi’!  Continue reading

I would walk 15 miles, and I would walk. . .

Pabbo-AB-DistanceOn Thursday, Football for Good founder Adrian Bradbury (above) and the Gulu United youth academy staff travelled north to Pabbo for their third talent identification event this week. And, how badly do the youth of this region want a full-time football/academic opportunity? Well, one of the 15 year old boys, Eric Wokorach, walked 15 miles (not a typo) to be a part of the session (Note: Eric showed off some great skills on the ball and will be moving on to the second stage of the trials). We also have plenty of photos from the day. Follow the link to check them out. Continue reading

The road less travelled . . . to Anaka & Awach?

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 6.39.03 AMOn Tuesday and Wednesday, we kicked off six straight days of open trials for the the Gulu United youth academy (and not without a ‘minor’ delay). In Anaka and Awach, both an hour outside of Gulu, we were welcomed by a total of over 400 U10 to U16 players who were ready to show us their skills, and they didn’t disappoint. Thirty-five of the youth were selected for stage two of the youth academy trials. Day two day in Awach also included a local friendly for the Gulu United first team, which ended in a  1-1 draw. Click on the link to see all of the images from both days, and with the internet being intermittent at best, there are more updates and photos to come — we promise.

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So, you want to start a football academy?

Dec1-Bradbury-Jozak-SateiBut, where to begin? Why not ask Romeo Jozak?

On Tuesday, Gulu United international director Adrian Bradbury and technical advisor Victor Satei of Apex International Football Consultancy, had a chance to sit down with Jozak, the former Dinamo Zagreb academy director and current Croatian Football Federation technical director. Jozak is well-known in global youth academy circles for laying the academy foundation for ‘progressive possession’ at Dinamo that, in his last six years, sold 26 players throughout Europe for a return over of €120 million for the club. The total annual cost of running their academy is just €1 million.

CLICK HERE to read the full story.

Make it Aeroplan Miles this #GivingTuesday

Screen Shot 2013-09-19 at 6.53.32 AMIt doesn’t always have to be cash out of your pocket on #GivingTuesday. In fact, we need you to make it Aeroplan Miles this Tuesday, December 2nd!

Over the past year we’ve raised just over 128,000 Aeroplan Miles. Thank you.

Now, we urgently need your help to raise 200,000 Aeroplan Miles to get our international coaches to Uganda in 2015 to launch the brand new Gulu United youth academy!

As I write this, I’m en route to northern Uganda, where we’ll be running the region’s first-ever youth talent identification days for Gulu United.

CLICK HERE to Donate Aeroplan Miles.

Please help us reach our 200,000 goal, and make this an amazing #GivingTuesday for Gulu United. So, please CLICK HERE to donate your Aeroplan Miles.

Thanks once again for your support, and for being ‘United for United’.

Football for Good getting even better in Uganda, and Croatia?

Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 11.03.22 PMOn Saturday, ‘Football for Good’ is heading back to Uganda, via Croatia.

When we finally make our way to Gulu, we’ll be launching a full week of open trials for the Gulu United youth academy. These trials will be the first of it’s kind in northern Uganda, where we will be offering both full-time football and academic scholarships that will kick-off with the new school year in 2015.

En route, we’re off to Zagreb, Croatia, where we’ll have the honour of spending some time with both the Croatian Football Federation and Dinamo Zagreb, who boast one of the world’s most respected youth academies. They are, without a doubt, one of our ‘hero’ organizations. Continue reading