The former Technical Director, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Tunde Disu on has advised the Chief Coach of the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr, to comb Nigeria for home-based players for the senior national team.
Disu gave the advice while commenting on the Super Eagles preparation toward the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers in September.
The Eagles will resume hostility in the continent as they battle the small country of Seychelles on Sept. 7 in Victoria, the capital city.
Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, off East Africa.
It’s home to numerous beaches, coral reefs and nature reserves, as well as rare animals such as giant Aldabra tortoises.
It is, however, worthy of note that the three-time AFCON champions having won the 2013 edition in South Africa have failed to qualify for the last two editions. Equatorial Guinea 2015 and Gabon 2017.
Also, the team will face a herculean task of qualification in their Group E after losing the first match of the qualifiers against Bafana Bafana of South Africa 0-2 in Uyo.
Nigeria is in the Group E that includes Seychelles, South Africa and Libya. Seychelles currently top the Group E standing with three points after 5-1 thumping of Libya in their first match.
However, with the task ahead of the senior national team, Disu said that Rohr should consider injecting home-based stars into the team so as to reinforce it.
“We are in a difficult position considering that we lost the first match against the South Africans. What we need now is to have some players who are hungry to play for the team.
“Rohr should look inward to find players in the country instead of solely relying on the foreign stars who might not understand the African terrain.
“We equally have players playing in the local league that can square up with their foreign counterparts for a place in the national team.
“We have academies in Nigeria that Rohr can advise to do well or assist in technical areas in order to make them better,’’ he said.
Disu said that the future of the national team lay with the home-grown talents and not those who are already established in Europe and other continents.
“The future of our national team lies with the home-grown players. We should seek for them instead of combing the European countries for players.
“We should look for a way to improve the quality of our league in order to get quality players. A good league system will produce good footballers.
“If we grow our league, it will save us the stress of going abroad to source for players. We can get what we want here locally.
“The fact remains that we have the players but we fail to discover them, a well structured league will help in talent discovery and put them on the same levels with those abroad,’’ he said.
Disu said that the home based players could replace the aging players, adding that giving them a chance to prove their prowess would increase their confidence.
“Most of the present players are aging. No matter how long we pretend about it, the law of nature is catching up with them.
“No matter how a player is when he clocks a certain age, his game will start to depreciate. We have many of them in the national team now.
“So, in such a situation, a replacement plan should be available, a case we have yet to solve about Austin Okocha. Nigeria needs a playmaker now,’’ he said.