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Engage ex-Internationals to help develop football at grassroots, Adelabu tells NFF

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[FILES] NFF President, Amaju Pinnick.

Former International, Adegoke Adelabu, has advised the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to assign retired national team stars to develop football in schools through a training programme that would also gainfully engage the former stars.

Adelabu, who said there were no good football coaches serving as game masters in schools these days, stated that the former Internationals, who lacked education, could fill the vacuum.

“The coaching problem in the country has been a long time thing. During the days of former Green Eagles coaches like the late Father Tico of blessed memory and Otto Gloria, I kept a note of what I learnt from them because I was at the university than as a sports science student.

“I looked at their philosophy, the way they coached, how they got results, the way they read matches and so on. The major problem we have today in Nigeria is that we keep bringing these foreign coaches without any objective in mind.

“We have so many highly intelligent former Internationals, who are wasting away now. They may not be that educated, but we can organise a programme that will help them put their thoughts together. Because one can be illiterate and have good thoughts on the basics of football,” he said.

Adelabu added, “As a scientist, what we do is to help them put their knowledge together in an academic way for people to learn from. This plan for them will take three to four months so that they can become coaches and we will send them to secondary schools where sound games masters are lacking,” he said.

Speaking on the national team, Adelabu said, “some people are clamouring for the sack of Rohr, but my question is, if you are sending him away, what did we gain from him? The coach brought in his own assistant, and some people are working under him. What did they learn? So, by the time we throw him away, then we will now start looking for another one.

“I think it is time we have begun to use our coaches. If we don’t use them how can they develop? The NFF needs to understand that we must help our coaches to have a proper understanding of the game.

“Once they understand this, it will be easier for our coaches to start learning, so that when we lose, we will know why we lost and then we can build up from there.”


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