Govt. appoints former England star, Crooks, as Technical Adviser to youth team

A statement by Mr Ono Akpe, Director General of the tournament, on Friday in Yenagoa, said Crooks was appointed based on his track records in football management and administration.

A statement by Mr Ono Akpe, Director General of the tournament, on Friday in Yenagoa, said Crooks was appointed based on his track records in football management and administration.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 30 talents were discovered in the 2018 tourney tagged, Restoration Cup.

The game, which featured over 150 rural-based football clubs, cut across the eight local government areas of the state. The final match was played on June 3.

Akpe urged Crooks to bring his wealth of experience to bear by giving the 30 selected players the much needed exposure in Europe and other parts of the world.

“As an international football star and sports consultant to the Bayelsa State Government by this appointment, you are expected to serve as a role model and mentor these upcoming players.

“With your international exposure and connections, you are expected to help secure international matches and tournaments for the team.

“You are also expected to help the players secure careers in national and international clubs.

“We urge you to help in molding and mentoring the players to have the good morals that will aid them in their football career,” he said.

Crooks commended the organisers for the successful completion of the 2018 tournament, and thanked the director for the confidence reposed in him.

He promised to do his best for the young players, the organisers, as well as Bayelsa State Government, which, he said, he had  “ special relationship with.”

Before now, Crooks played for Stoke City, Manchester United, West Bromwich Albion and Charlton Athletic, as well as Tottenham Hotspurs, where he won two FA Cups and the UEFA Cup in 1984 against Anderlecht.

Crooks is frequently credited as the first black player to score in an FA Cup final, when he equalized in a 3–2 win over Manchester City in 1981.

He represented England at international level, making four appearances for the England Under-21, where he scored three goals.

Throughout his career, he was an active member of the Professional Footballers’ Association, and was elected the first black chairman of the union.

He currently works for BBC Sport as the lead pundit on Final Score on BBC One.

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