By Kate Obodo
Ahead of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa , ex-international, Friday Ekpo has urged the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to inject fresh legs into the senior national teamÂ that will compete at the World Cup in June.
According to him, the teamÂ need youngerÂ players who are skillful and are hungry for honour to play for their fatherland. He cited Ghana as an example of a country that utilised many of their U-20 players in the Nations Cup in Angola.
Ekpo stressed that the NFF should start enhancing young talents in the league if they want a proper outing at the firstv World Cup in Africa.
â€œHonestly speaking, time has come for us to inject young players in the team especially as we are approachingÂ the World Cup. The issue of banking on our old players should be jettisoned .Â See how Ghana U-20 players played against the Eagles . The idea of Shaibu AmoduÂ relegating our home- based players to the background should be stoppedÂ because we have good home- based players.
The problem is that our coaches donâ€™t believe in them. Let this defeat be an eye opener on the need for young players in our team, we need them and the coaches should be ready to teach them what they need to know, â€ he said.
Reacting on last Thursdayâ€™s defeat, Ekpo faulted the attack,Â saying it was too weak, blaming the players for not been offensive enough.
â€œI want to thank God for taking us this far,Â the way our players played at the beginning of the competition, one had little hope in them.
One would have thought that we would be out in the early stages. It is justÂ unfortunate. Looking at the match generally, the attack was just too poor, too weak to a fault. Obafemi Martins, on his part was too slow and his shots too weak,â€ he said.