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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:39 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2003 4:57 pm
Posts: 54298
Location: United Kingdom
[1] They say that in life the only thing that is constant is change. Football is no different from everything else in this regard

[2] For people my age, when we started watching the Super Eagles it was a case of all 22 players being home-based. When people like Enugu II, CIC, Sir V and myself used to go to watch the Eagles train and play back then, all the players plied their trade for IICC, Enugu Rangers, Bendel Insurance, Raccah Rovers, Stationary Stores, Asabatex, Vasco Da Gama, Mighty Jets, ACB, National Bank, Water Corporation, etc

[3] Take our first Nations Cup triumph in 1980 for instance, apart from Godwin Odiye who returned from the US where he was studying, everyone else was home-based. After that tournament, things began to change gradually and more and more players started venturing abroad

[4] I think the real shift came after Henry Nwosu and Stephen Keshi were suspended for failing to report to camp. They both left for Ivory Coast and Keshi travelled to Belgium from there. That just opened the floodgates and Belgium became the Mecca for every Eagles player

[5] Thanks to Keshi, after Maroc 88, almost everyone who played in that tournament ventured abroad. By 1990, we had virtually none of our first team players plying their trade locally

[6] This was the situation Clemence Westerhoff inherited and he had to adjust his plans accordingly. Westerhoff made time to go and watch the players ply their trade with their clubsides

[7] Now, we are witnessing a new kind of change. There are 20m Nigerians in the diaspora and they have children, many of them mixed race. These players need to be scouted too

[8] Just look at Carl Ikeme, Tyronne Ebuehi, Brian Idowu, Leon Balogun,. William Ekong, Ola Aina, Alex Iwobi, Victor Moses, Denis Bonaventure, Jordan Touranighora, Deji Beyreuther, Felix Uduokhai, Kelvin Akpoguma, Noah Bazee and Cyriel Dessers to get my point

[9] Basically we need three assistant coaches in charge of scouting - One for the local league, one for our established players plying their trade abroad and one to hunt down unknown diasporans. No set of player is more valuable than the other and I think they should all be accorded equal importance

[10] If we do not take diaspora recruitment seriously, we could end up like DR Congo where all their best players are playing for France and Belgium. After Russia 2018, I hope Gernot Rohr takes this very seriously


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