Nigeria Premier League veteran Victor Ezeji has urged the six local league players selected by coach Stephen Keshi to put up their best at the 2013 Nations Cup and demonstrate that something good can come out of the moribund Nigerian league.
Ezeji who scored five goals last season for Sharks of Port Harcourt noted that the League in Nigeria may never have the chance to correct the mistakes of the past if they fail to take advantage of what is happening with the boys in the Super Eagles camp.
“Six boys from local league shows there is something the technical crew has seen in the home based players. This is where the people currently in charge of the Premier League should sit down to utilise the opportunity by doing their best to correct the mistakes of the past.
“This is the best time for the authorities in charge to come together and do something before the Nigeria Premier league goes into extinction.
“So much is happening and if all concerned don’t do something fast, there will be real problem. What other opportunity do we need to make sure that things are done right with six of our ambassadors in the Super Eagles squad.
“Players must be respected. They must be paid as and when due. I believe in the League transforming to be one of the best in the world.
“Imagine the six players coming back to join their teams and they still go through hell because they want to get their money.
“The last time we witnessed home based doing well with the national team was when Clemens Westerhoff was in charge of the Super Eagles.
“The clubs must be run properly and there is no time like we have right now to make sure that good preparation is put in place before the Premier League starts on February 16th,” Ezeji said.
….. As their inclusion excites Sunshine’s Itodo
Sunshine Stars’ defensive midfielder, Cletus Itodo is excited six Nigeria Premier League (NPL) players made Super Eagles 23-man Afcon squad.
Super Eagles’ manager, Stephen Keshi on Wednesday named Rangers’ trio, Chigozie Agbim, Sunday Mba and Ejike Uzoenyi as well as Sunshine Stars’ Godfrey Oboabona, Warri Wolves’ Azubuike Egwuekwe and Kano Pillars’ Reuben Gabriel in his 23-man Afcon final list.
Itodo said the development is a testimony that the domestic players have come of age and can be trusted for higher responsibilities.
“We’re happy that our captain, Godfrey Oboabona made the final cut, it’s a thing of joy for us and equally a wonderful credit to the local lads that six of theirs are included in the 23-man Afcon list.
“This development has enhanced our profiles as well as market value.
“It’s left to them to prove themselves on the field of play as good performance will open more doors for other of their likes,” said the Nigerian midfielder to supersport.com.
The former Enyimba man said the Eagles will be a candidate for the podium celebration at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
“The Eagles will surely win their third title in South Africa. People seem to rate them low but I assure you they’ll shock all for the title,” said the former Dolphin player.
Nigeria will start their title chase on January 21 in Nelspruit against West African foes, Burkina Faso before tackling title holders, Zambia and Ethiopia.