Former Baylesa United Football Club chairman, Felix Beke has advised Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi to be careful in his plans to include more home-based players than the foreign-based players in the national team ahead the Nations Cup qualifier against Rwanda in Kigali.
Beke, is of the notion that the home-based Eagles are not yet fit to feature in competitive games like the qualifiers and therefore argued that they should be engaged more in local and international friendlies in order to be exposed.
“The NFF and others have expressed satisfaction that Keshi is on course for the rebirth of the Eagles. But I’m not too impressed because they are not yet there especially as the time is too short. My advice for Keshi is that he should not use majority of the home-based players to prosecute the qualifying series against Rwanda or any country rather, he should select three local players and combine them with the professionals players,” he warned.
Continuing he said: “I also thought he will keep them for a while before including them in his plans. Having a formidable team is not a one day affair. This is a programme that requires a continuous process and time alongside friendly games.
If he tries to field more of the home-based players, I’m afraid he might go the same way like Samson Siasia. I’m not saying they should not be part of the team for the forthcoming friendly matches and qualifiers.
“I see a situation where we will rely so much on our home-based players in major events while the professional will struggle for shirt to play for the national team. Only if will keep them for a while and expose them more with local and international friendly games. I believe they will improve as they get involved in friendly games.
“Let’s be truthful to ourselves, if you look at what we have now as home-based players and compare them with the foreign-based players, you will see that there will be difference. The local players still need some measure of exposure in the game. That is why the Nigerian league needs to improve for us to have good players that will beef up the national team,” he concluded.