Nike‚Äôs Global Football Campaign The Chance returned for a second time in 2012, with the same key objective: to identify the world‚Äôs best young unsigned footballing talent, and give them a unique platform to enable them to become better players. Limelight Sports worked with Nike to plan and deliver the UK Finals, which were held in Manchester across four days.
Over a period of three months, 100 players were recruited through a variety of channels including Facebook, Nike‚Äôs Scouting Network, Nike Football Elite Training Live (a Limelight / Nike delivered grassroots programme) along with various connections within youth football. ¬†All identified players were invited to Manchester for four days of intense fitness testing and technical / gameplay assessment, culminating in the selection of just three players, who would then go on represent the UK at The Chance Global Finals in Barcelona.
The decision on who would progress through to the Global Finals was the responsibility of Jimmy Gilligan (Nike Academy Head Coach and Head Coach of The Chance Global Finals) and his qualified panel of coaches, including Neil Banfeild, Rob Kelly, Kenny Cunningham and Jon Goodman. In dramatic fashion, the 100 were cut to 50 after the first day of football. The 50 that were selected then stayed for a further two days of assessment before another cut reduced the group to 28. The 28 formed two squads of 14 that played each other in a formal 90 minute match at Manchester United‚Äôs training facility, observed by Rio Ferdinand, leading to the selection of the final 3 players who would be crowned the winners of the UK Chance Finals.
Throughout the event, all players were treated to the highest level of a professional football experience, with elite training facilities, bespoke 5* accommodation, luxury travel, premium food, unique Nike Football experiences and of course the latest Nike product for both on and off the field of play.
As with the inaugural event, Nike‚Äôs The Chance will live long in the memories of all attending players.