By JACOB AJOM
Former national team coach, Paul Hamilton has advised Samson Siasia to handle his star players with care so as to forestall experiencing frustrating turns in his attempt to building a strong national team for Nigeria.
Reacting to the recent outpourings by star striker Osaze Odemwingie whose postings on his twitter page caused a stir in the national team camp, Hamilton said that Siasia should be prepared to experience more of such rebellious acts from his star players.
He however, added that Siasia’s approach in handling such cases would stand him out and keep the team going.
Hamilton who has handled the various national teams at different times recalled the likes of Tarila Okorowanta and Etim Esin who passed through him and were defiant in observing camp rules. “One time or the other, even in your own home, one or two of your children may try to be difficult. But Osaze has apologised and I think there is nothing unusual about his behaviour,” Hamilton said.
“Take your mind back, in my days when I had the likes of Tarila Okorowanta and Etim Esin. I was virtually the gate man and I made sure everybody was in before I went to bed,” the former national team handler recalled.
He continued, “in 1989, the day before our Italia ‘90 qualifying match with Cameroun in Ibadan, Etim was arrested by the Police for over speeding.
Etim had met me and said he was going to Lagos for his car. I permitted him. In an attempt to catch up with our programme, he was racing back to Ibadan and the police said his speed was too much and was arrested.
When news about his arrest got to me the next moment I was at the police station and offered to be arrested alongside Etim. But the senior officer at the station recognised me and set us free.
These things happen and coaches must learn to live with them.”
He said he was happy with the maturity exhibited by Siasia on the matter so far, adding, “I even learnt Osaze too has apologised. That is very good of him.”