HOW EUROPE CAN MAKE EAGLES SUPER AGAIN - KOJO WILLIAMS
By Onochie Anibeze
Kojo Williams welcomed Nigeria's 1-0 victory over Namibia in a 2014 World Cup qualifier but he was not excited about their performance until he heard that seven of the players were based at home and playing in the Nigerian league. Five started the match and two came in as substitutes.
'That's good,' he said, quickly adding 'but that's what we did before until we lost everything, lost the game and lost even the vision to plan and do the right thing.'
Ejike Uzoenyi of Rangers, Egwueke of Warri Wolves, Henry Uche and Uche Kalu of Enyimba, Ruben of Kano Pillars, Godfrey Itama and Oshanuwa of Sunshine Stars played in the match and the likes of Sunday Mba of Wolves were on the bench.
Kojo, once Nigeria Football Association Chairman, would not speak on the match again but on what the federation should do to make Nigeria football strong again. Said he:
' Keshi is now doing what we used to do. The result of what Nigeria did (under Westerhof) was the level our football reached after USA '94.
The federation must look for money to camp and train the local players for they are the bedrock of our football. But it is not only about camping them at home. They must embark on training tours outside Nigeria. It could be Europe or South America.
They need the exposure and must play as many matches as possible. It was difficult beating Namibia because they (Namibia) went to prepare in Germany. You can't say that you didn't see the touch of their training tour in that match because we heard that their players were all local players, playing in their league. Namibia trained in Germany and flew from there to Nigeria.
They learnt a lot and developed confidence too because they went to Europe. We did things like this before and should revert to them if we want to encourage Keshi and his crew and make our football strong again.
There are many other things that they could do but since Keshi is using the local boys after the failure of many of the so called stars let them be serious about building a new solid team. Let them take the team out now.
In Europe they have many training facilities, they will play friendlies if the tours are well orgainsed and the players will be exposed to many things in the game. Here, we don't even have good pitches not to talk of other facilities. Go to Europe if you want Eagles to be super again.'