Peseiro’s first task must be to showcase NPFL’s talents, Elahor insists
Former international, Friday Elahor, has maintained that the primary assignment of the newly appointed Super Eagles coach will be to develop, nurture and expose players in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) for the country’s international games.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) recently revealed the engagement of Jose Peseiro as the Super Eagles manager. With two friendlies slated for May 29 and June 3 against Mexico and Ecuador respectively as tune-up matches for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying series, this obviously presents the Portuguese coach with his first assignment.
Speaking to The Guardian during the week, Elahor stated that the friendlies for the Eagles should be an opportunity for the local-based players to have the chance to play for the country so that everyone would see what they too can offer in terms of talents, adding that many of the country’s former internationals also played their way through to the top of their career by the opportunities given to them.
“To me, any coach the NFF appoints to handle the national team, should not just be the coach of the senior national team, but also the supervising coach of the U17, U21 and U23 teams. In other words, his job should be to supervise all the teams. His job shouldn’t just end with the male senior national team alone.
“Also, his job should be to watch league games, so that players discovered can be nurtured and exposed during international friendlies. This is why the coach needs to bring in these players from our league for the test,” he said, adding that many of the country’s greats also began from the league before they blossomed to be world-renowned stars.
“Every time we have international matches, we look towards the side of the foreign-based players, thereby, neglecting our home-based players, which is wrong. We have forgotten that many of the stars this country has produced began from our local league before they moved to Europe.
“I still believe strongly that we have several untapped talents in our league, who have not being given the chance they craved for to play for this country. Thank God we have two friendlies against Mexico and Ecuador. This is the kind of test we need to give these players so that the country can also see what they can do with the ball.
“The fact that everybody keeps saying that we do not have a league does not mean we do not have exceptional players there. To me, South Africa league is not better than our own league and yet we see players from their league featuring regularly for their country. I still believe we have some good players who can represent us well in this country,” he stated.