Mandatory national team inclusion morale booster for domestic league players – Esin
Former International, Etim Esin, has lauded the Federal Government’s marching orders handed to the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to hold Super Eagles head coach, Gernot Rohr, to the higher standards as contained in his contract.
According to him, the mandatory inclusion of home-based players in the team, following the team’s dismal two-leg draw against lowly-rated Sierra Leone, in the 2022 AFCON Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, was also a good development, even though he wondered why a riot act needed to be read before Rohr would consider Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) players for international engagements.
Speaking to The Guardian yesterday, Esin said: “I believe this is a good development for our football, especially talking about growing our local leagues. Didn’t we all that played for this country come out of the local leagues? Sunday Oliseh came out of the defunct Julius Berger, Taribo West from Rangers, Austin J.J. Okocha from Rangers, Daniel Amokachi from Ranchers Bees, and Finidi George, from Sharks of Port Harcourt and so on.
“For some of us who went ahead to play for clubs in Europe, wearing the country’s jersey as Super Eagles players was an enabler. This latest decision is a step to further develop our leagues,” he said, adding that making three to four domestic league players an integral part of the Eagles would boost their morale.
“Playing in our league with no hope of being called up to the national team is capable of killing one’s spirit and you want to ask yourself, what is the point playing then? But with this new development, it is going to be a good input to the growth of our football with our local league being given priority.
“I believe we have some good players in the local league who can make the national team if well looked properly. This is the reason why you have the technical committee members, who will look round the country and make recommendations,” he stated.