A former Green Eagles player, Adokiye Amiesimaka, has called for the setting up of a well-structured football development programme that will capture youths from eight years old to 19.
He said in an interview in Lagos on Wednesday that doing so would ensure grassroots development of the game and enable the country’s national teams to perform creditably at global competitions.
Amiesimaka was speaking against the backdrop of Nigeria’s exit from the ongoing 2018 Russia World Cup after the Super Eagles’1 – 2 loss to Argentina.
“The players did their best, but until we start from the basics, until we have a structured process of youth football development, we will not do better than we have been doing overtime.
“We need to set up a youth development programme that will enable us to catch players young especially in their formative years, from the ages of eight to 17.
“Until we go back to the basics of a structured programme we cannot develop and be consistent.
“And the structured development programme is in phases – from Under 12, to Under 15, Under 17, Under 19, then to the senior level.
“That is how it is done.’’
The former attacking winger praised the Super Eagles for a brave performance against their perennial adversary, Argentina, at the World Cup, but said that the team lacked the extra punch to upset the two-time World Champions.
Argentina earned four points at the group stage having won one match (against Nigeria), drawn one (against Iceland) and lost one (to Croatia).