Ikechukwu Jude remembers seeing David Okereke play soccer in the streets of Lagos. He knew early on that the striker, who now plays for Cremonese in Serie A, was special. Jude told his friend about Okereke and “the rest is history.”
“It is a point of pride to me, seeing him at a top 5 league in the world,” Jude told The Bent Musket.
Born in Lagos, Jude lives in the Eastern part of Nigeria and hopes to become one of the most recognized scouts in the world. He recently held a scouting event that was attended by approximately 300 players.
These athletes had the opportunity to be seen by scouts from the New England Revolution, Debreceni VSC, SPOCS Global Agency, Foot&Law Sports Agency, and CA Base One Time.
Ultimately, four players were selected by a Hungarian club, three by a Turkish club, one by a Portuguese club, and two by the Revs.
Jude plans to host similar events in the future as he believes that Nigeria is a hotbed for emerging talent. He wants to get an international sponsor for his scouting tournaments, which he hopes to host 2-3 times a year.
It’s unclear if the players identified by the Revs are targets for the first or second team. At this point, neither player has signed a contract.
Still, Jude believes that Major League Soccer teams should be making scouting trips to Africa. He values MLS, noting, “The league has been very challenging and has produced some top players that travel to top teams in Europe.”
Jude is still young and has a lot to learn. He enjoyed his time with Revs scout Sergio Neveleff, who he called “a man of so many experiences.” He recalls that Neveleff told him to keep working because he’s on “the right track.”
Jude is encouraged by this as he looks to make the dreams of his clients come true just like what happened to Okereke, a young soccer player who went from Lagos to Italy.