Two ex internationals, Nicholas Ukadike and Micky Igbeka have backed the retention of indigenous coaches for the Super Eagles in the Africa Nations Cup and World Cup campaigns as preparation for the Angola competition hots up.
Both ex players equally endorsed the list of 33 players released by chief coach, Shaibu Amodu for the Nations Cup camping expected to begin on December 28 in South Africa, stressing that the team could make an impact in Angola if efforts could be geared at building a solid team.
In separate interviews in Lagos, US based Igbeka, now a businessman, who played club football for Asabatex FC, Pan African Bank of Port Harcourt and El- Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri said, â€œ it is time we started allowing local coaches to be in control of technical affairs of the national teams.
Specifically, for the Nations Cup and World Cup, Amodu and his team have done well by my reckoning,â€ he stated, adding, â€œif they were in charge to get us this far, I think they should be given the chance to complete the job by taking the team to the 2010 competitions.
There is the need for the authorities to allow local coaches go to those competitions to gain experience and knowledge. After all, if they are not allowed to have the experience, how long must we continue to depend on foreigners, so letâ€™s fall back on our own, he stated.â€
Igbeka, who was a also a member of the first national U-20 team to represent Nigeria in the FIFA Junior World Cup tagged Mexico â€˜83 and later graduated into the Green Eagles, said of the World Cup fixtures, â€œYes the fixtures have been made and itâ€™s not something scary to me.
Teams we have been drawn against are all very well known to us. So, itâ€™s up to us to think fast what to do, not to continue a debate as to who should or should not be in charge. And we have quite sometime to do something tangible for football.
This is not an opportunity we should let slip by you know. If we can apportion fullÂ responsibility for these competitions to our local coaches now, toÂ give them more confidence to carry on, I know they can move mountains.
These days, countries now put full responsibility for national teams on their own people. We can gain by doing the same, after all, any outsider that comes now will ask for time to adjust himself and know our players first. If he fails, he would give an excuse of lack of time,â€Igbeka explained
Speaking in the same light, Ukadike, whose career took him through Enyimba, Spartans, Iwuanyanwu Nationale and Abiola Babes before capping it with the Eagles insisted the success of the national team in 2010 will have a lot to do with Amodu being around the team, noting that any of the Eagles opponents can be beaten if they set their minds to achieve such.
He said that even if a foreigner is brought, the current local coaches should be part of the team. â€œ The players have gotten used already to them coming through the qualifiers and it is my belief that a new man willÂ destabilise rather than build the team.