Onigbinde urges Keshi, NFF to build Super Eagles on home-based players
Former Super Eagles Coach, Chief Adegboye Onigbinde, has urged the Nigeria football Federation (NFF) to focus on providing a viable programme that would help discover and nurture talents from the grassroots, saying such a programme would create a quality players’ bank for senior national team coaches.
Arguing that Super Eagles’ coaches should source their players from the local league instead of looking for materials from obscure non-football playing countries, Onigbinde said Coach Stephen Keshi would only succeed in transforming the team if he focused more attention on players from the Nigerian league.
He explained that if the right measures were put in place, players from Nigerian cadet teams would have graduated to a point the country would be contending favourably with the world’s best sides.
The Modakeke high chief said that when he was in charge of the Super Eagles from 1983 to 1985 he built a strong squad by using mostly home-based players in international championships.
He maintained that a coach that pays more attention to foreign-based players would not create healthy competition among players in his team.
Onigbinde also urged Keshi to eschew sentiments when picking players for his team.
“The issue of our foreign-based players not getting it right in their various clubs in Europe should not have been a problem assuming the NFF had measures in place to discover talents. I have said it over time that Nigeria have talented footballers that are yet to be discovered.
“When I was the coach of the Super Eagles between 1983 and 1985, I used mostly home-based players to get to the final of the Africa Nations Cup. Even at the 2002 World Cup, I also gave domestic players the chance to be part of the team.
“Keshi needs to give more domestic players the chance to be in the Eagles because it would help him get enough quality players in camp to fight for positions in the qualifiers. He needs hungry and committed players to get it right in the Eagles,” he said.