EAGLES PLAYED FOR KESHI AT AFCON - SIASIA
By ROMANUS UGWU, Abuja
Nigerian former international, Samson Siasia, has attributed the success of the Super Eagles' Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, at the recent edition of the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa to the decision and dedication of his boys to play for him.
The Dream Team and Flying Eagles' former chief coach could not qualify the Super Eagles to the 2012 edition of the continental biennial football fiesta, owing to what many believed to be players' sabotage over his face-off with the senior players of the team. However, asked what worked for Keshi in lifting the AFCON trophy, World Cup Coach (WCC) as fans and acquaintances fondly call him, told Daily Sunsports in Abuja that apart from mother luck smiling on Keshi, his boys showed serious commitments.
Did he actually disappear during the Nations Cup, Siasia admitted: 'I kind of did because I need some rest. But I'm back and actually happy with what Keshi did with the team. It is a way forward for Nigerian football. However, we all know how Nigerians think and I want to hope that he would do better. I wish him the best of luck but he needs our support and we must rally support for him.
What did Keshi do which he did not do, SiaOne said: 'Well, Keshi won the Nations Cup, but I did not. But on a serious note, he won the Nations Cup because I think he was luckier than me. He actually did a very good job and he was fortunate that luck was on his side. Most Nigerians wrote the team off, but little persistence he achieved. 'Again and more importantly, I think the players played for him. When the players found out that many things were going wrong with him, they rose to the occasion and played for Keshi. The good thing is that happy Nigerians came out in the street to celebrate what the boys did,' he noted.
He equally gave update about his academy, Siaone, revealing: 'Something is still going in SiaOne Academy. We still have our practice sessions on Wednesdays and Saturdays. But what I'm planning to do is to have a structure where I can settle the players in the camp instead of the players coming from their homes.' 'That is what is really snowing us down but I want to assure Nigerians that everything will soon work out.
For now, we have sent our players back to their various homes and we won't allow them to come back now until we put the structures in place. 'Recall that we assembled some boys late last year, we equally took them to Port Harcourt to prosecute some friendly matches but we have not reconvened since we went for Christmas break because I want to put the structures in place.
They need a hostel where we could start before getting a permanent apartment for them. I want to assure that we will hopefully resume camping before the end of this month,' he added.