By Kate Obodo
Having sparked the call onÂ former Super Eagles skipper Austin Okocha to quit retirement and return to active soccer, at least for the 2010 World Cup, ex-International AdokieÂ Amiesimaka believes that two things would determine his return, attaining the required fitness as well as the coach ready to welcome him back to the team.
According to Amiesimaka, the fact that fans still appreciate his past efforts in the team means so much as he corrected the notion of readers who misreadÂ him on the matter, believingÂ that Okochaâ€™s return to the teamÂ will bring back the hands of time.
â€œThere is no doubt that Okocha is coming back if you readÂ between the lines. Okocha is available, the question is that can he attain the required level of fitness, is Amodu ready to take him back. If yes,Â what stops him from coming back, after all he is a Nigerian andÂ can play for his fatherland. While grooming players that can fit into his shoes, we should utilize the original copy that we have, if we have original copy, why go for photocopy? â€ he queried.
â€œHe is ready to come back. I donâ€™t know why some people are misreading his return as bringing back the hands of time, when our midfield is empty,â€ he said.
Describing the former Bolton Wanderers captainâ€™s effortless service in the national team, the former GreenÂ Eagles winger said the need for Okocha to return to active soccerÂ is very vital as it would help fill the vacuum created.
He said that Okocha is a player with high creativity who did more of inventive soccer than struggling and running for the ball like some players do,Â conservingÂ his strength to his brain in distributing the ball. He however believes that current Super Eagles skipper, Nwankwo Kanu plays similar style with Okocha with respect to creativity and advised that heÂ should be used more often than ever before.
â€œThe way Okocha played during his days can not be over emphasised. Because it was obvious that during his time he did not waste much energy and strength distributing ball for goals rather he conserved his strengths to his brain. He is good and is still needed in the team if he is ready to play and the coach is willing to accept him. I will also ask the president to give him a call and ask him to quit retirement, â€ Amiesimaka said.