Nigeria: Obuh Demands More Local Players in Super Eagles

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John Obuh

John Obuh

After watching Super Eagles defeat the Chipolopolo of Zambia 2-0 yesterday at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium Kaduna, former coach of the National U-20 team, John Obuh has called on Coach Stephen Keshi to give more opportunities for players in the Nigerian Premier League to prove their abilities.

The coach commended the Eagles for giving Keshi his first win as coach of the team but said Nigerians should not judge the coach based on the performances of the team in the two friendly matches as he explained that what the coach is doing at the moment is to assess the individual abilities of the players.

He said during the match against the Zebras of Botswana in Benin, the coach went out for a win but against the Chipolopolo he allowed the players to play freely for him to see their individual abilities.

“What I can say is that at the moment what Keshi is doing is to test the players he has inherited. He has not started serious work yet. What he is doing is to bring the players together and give them the opportunity to prove what they are capable of doing.

“He is only assessing them. I am sure after he must have seen all of them; he would begin to introduce his patterns and formations. I am not speaking for him but I think that’s exactly what he is doing.

The Sharks of Port-Harcourt coach said to rebuild the Super Eagles, the Nigeria Football Federation should deem it necessary to organize high profile international friendly matches to be prosecuted by players in the Nigerian Premier League.

He said if the coaches shy away from assigning responsibilities to local players, the much talked about new Super Eagles would remain a mirage.

According to him, the more chances they are given to play against more established opponents, the more the local players would garner the required exposure and confidence.

“We talk about rebuilding the national team but we should be ready to give more opportunities to local players. I suggest that more friendly matches should be organized where at least seven members of the team would be from the domestic league.

“The more the local players are allowed to feature in Eagles matches, the more they would become confident. The idea of introducing one or two once in a while may not serve the purpose. We should be ready to take risk at least in friendly matches”.

Coach Obuh further advised those in charge to contact some of them who have been on the local scene to help them discover quality players in the NPL.

“If they want they can contact some of us who are on ground to help them with some of the talents that abound in the Nigerian League. I do not agree with those who feel there are no quality players in the domestic league”, he stated.

 

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