Low self-esteem, indiscipline bane of NPFL players, says Lawal
Former International, Garba Lawal, has revealed that low self esteem and indiscipline are some of the reasons Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) players do not make the Super Eagles camp. He said the current players were not as commanding as stars of his days, who even benched their foreign counterparts in the national team.
Players like Finidi George, Daniel Amokachi, Uche Okechukwu, Sunday Mba and others became household names playing for the Super Eagles, while they were still engaged with their clubs in the domestic league.
Speaking to The Guardian yesterday, Lawal advised national coaches to work on home-based players’ deficiencies and use them in less important matches to build their confidence.
“Featuring the local league players in the national team depends on the players’ ability and self-confidence they have in themselves. In my days, we believed so much in ourselves that we could match the foreign players. And some of us even played ahead of the foreign players in some International matches.
“When a player excels, it is that player’s quality to propels him and not someone else. That is why when people talk about bribery in the team, I laugh because I know that football is practical. When you are good, no coach will ask you for money because he cannot afford to play without you.
“Some players think they can bribe their way into the national team and when they are unable to match the quality the coach wants, they start crying foul. The question is: Whom do you blame? When a player believes in the quality he can bring into the national team, there will be no question of him settling anyone because he knows his worth,” he said.
Lawal said football is about time and chance, adding, “It baffles me when the national coach says there are no good players in our league for any national game. I still believe we have good local players and there is no way anyone can tell me that he cannot find some players, no matter how bad our league may look.
“Our league players need to be encouraged by the national coach because such opportunities can also improve and develop our league. These players don’t need to travel out before they can play for their country. That is why so many of them become frustrated each time they travel for trials outside the country. And when they return after not being picked by the clubs they went to for trials, they find it hard to return to their best in the domestic league.
“I also think the local league players too should be patient and remain focused until their time comes,” he stated.