DREAM TEAM V PLAYERS FAILED US -IROHA
• Henry Nwosu
Assistant Coach of Dream Team V, Benedict Iroha, is still licking the wounds caused by the team's failure to pick a ticket to the football event of next year's Olympics in London.
The former Super Eagles' left wing-back, in a telephone chat with Saturday Sunsports, said the players showed a lot of promise in the build up to the competition, only to put up a disgraceful outing at the Olympic qualifying tournament in Morocco.
Iroha insisted that the home-based players in the team were the best anyone could select from the domestic league within the age category and wondered why they could not rise to the occasion when it mattered most.
'The boys failed us,' he submitted while lamenting over the team's failure in Morocco. 'We selected the best players from the domestic league and I've yet to understand what went wrong with them at the qualifiers in Morocco after they showed so much promise in camp, particularly in Ghana, when we went on training tour.
'In fact, I was beginning to liken the boys to my set of Eagles. I had thought I saw another USA '94 set of Super Eagles in the making, but I never knew a big shock was waiting for me in Morocco.
'We worked so hard ahead of the tournament in Morocco. Could you imagine the combined coaching experience of Austin Eguavoen, Stanley Eguma, my humble self and Alloy Agu? We all put our heads together and came up with the tactics and strategies that ought to have given us a ticket to the Olympics, but the boys messed us up,' Iroha lamented.
The former Iwuanyanwu Nationale (now Heartland FC) of Owerri defence ace had looked forward to repeating the feat he achieved in 2007 when, alongside the late coach Yemi Tella, he guided Nigeria's Golden Eaglets to win the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Korea.
'I had looked forward to another glorious outing at the Olympics next year like the experience I had in 2007 in Korea when we won the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.
'My regret is that I will not be at the Olympics in London next year. I've never been so disappointed in my life; the boys really failed us,' he maintained.