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Eagles should look beyond qualifying for AFCON, World Cup, says Amuneke

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• Dreams of coaching Nigeria in future 
Former Super Eagles star, Emmanuel Amuneke believes the senior national team should by now be looking beyond qualifying for the African Cup of Nations and the FIFA World Cup, saying the country should be regular serious contender for the trophies.

To this end, the Egypt-based coach wants the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to create a long-term programme that would see the Super Eagles presenting formidable teams to the biggest international competitions at all times.

Speaking from his base in Egypt yesterday, Amuneke said the Super Eagles’ inability to compete successfully with the top African teams over the years was because the necessary programme has not been put in place to develop the team from one stage to another.

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He advised the NFF to draw a programme with specific timelines for the national team coaches to ensure continuous progression of the team, adding that admission into the squad should be made competitive for every Nigerian player.

He added: “Nigeria has over the years qualified for these competitions and I believe that merely participating in the championships is not all that matters now.

“There should be a programme that would see that the Super Eagles can get at least to the semifinal of the World Cup. This cannot be achieved one or two months before the World Cup.

“A well tailored plan has to be put in place by the NFF…it can be for a six-year or more plan that is stipulated to see the Eagles win laurels in major championships.”

Amuneke said that all the countries that excelled at the World Cup worked hard to put their teams in the frame, adding, however, “any time I hear that the Eagles will win the World Cup after qualification, I wonder how it will happen when there is no long term structure for it to come to reality.

“Getting the required result to build a solid squad requires strict supervision and selection of players because there are some quality players that play well for their clubs and cannot perform at the national team level.

“A credible coach has to find out how a particular player can fit in to the national team structure before he can play for the team.”

Amuneke reiterated his desire to coach the Super Eagles some day.

He added” “Gernot Rohr is a good coach. He is doing a good job with the Super Eagles, and when he leaves another coach will take over. However, there should be a continuous effort to build a formidable national team.”

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