By Eddie Akalonu
Chairman of Gabros Football Club, Chief Gabriel Chukwuma, has said that Super Eagles’ performance in the African Cup of Nations in South Africa next year will be dependent on the quality of players the chief coach, Stephen Keshi is able to assemble.
The Former Nigeria Football Association First Vice chairman, who spoke on the final Nations Cup draw conducted by CAF last week, is of the view that Nigeria and champions Zambia have brighter chances of emerging from Group C over Burkina Faso and Ethiopia.
“I can see the point made by those who are predicting that Nigeria and Zambia will qualify from Group C. We should not hesitate to grab a chance and so, we should strive to build a good team that is ready.
I know that we have about 17 quality players in top clubs in Europe, so it’s a tough job for the coaches to harness their skills to blend with those picked from the Nigerian league. If they can blend well and have the commitment and understanding of players and officials that a trophy hungry team requires, they will go far.
Beside the coaches, much work is also expected of the FA , especially it’s technical men in support of the team at all times. We don’t have to leave all the work to Keshi alone because he has been given a target to meet. I believe the technical department has equal contribution if the country’s target is really to go out there and get to the semi final at least’,” he stressed.
Chief Chukwuma, who has spent over three decades as a club proprietor, said if proper work is done with the team’s preparations, they can go beyond the group stage up to the semi final or even the final but this will depend on how Keshi is able to marry the different skills and ability of each of the player.
The Eagles beat Zambia at the quarter final stage in the 2010 Nations Cup in Angola but were absent in the 2012 edition in Equatorial Guinea/Gabon.