By Lexi Elo
Nigeria stand-in coach, Daniel Amokachi has told Goal that his emphasis will be on raising a solid home-based squad that can compete with overseas-based players just like it was in the wake of the team’s triumph at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
you may also like:
Amokachi said that building a team with a domestic backbone is the new orientation of the technical crew if Nigeria is to return to her glory days as he named up to 11 NPFL players for the double header friendlies against Uganda and South Africa.
He also confirmed that his resolve would also be to get good young, home-based players who would be complemented by their colleagues from abroad that are making waves for their teams overseas.
“If you remember when we qualified for the last Afcon in 2013 which we eventually won, the home-based contributed about 80 percent to the team that qualified and when we eventually played in the competition we still had sizeable number of the domestic league players that made the squad. One of them also got us crucial goals that won us the cup. It is a step that we have to revisit,” Amokachi told Goal.
“You can see from the call up it is not just about the home-based players but young players who are not that exposed to the international scene and some others who are playing in Europe. We also have our eyes on Nigerians in Europe who are not yet capped but are making waves overseas. We want to woo them so that they can come and play for their fatherland. All that immerse into one, I think we should be able to have a formidable team.”
The former Everton and Besiktas striker also charged Nigerians to come all out and support their national team in the friendly match against the Cranes on Wednesday evening and in subsequent matches despite the team’s topsy-turvy outing on the international scene in recent times.
“We all know that our football has been going down over the years but Nigerians have always been behind us. Some have lost faith but then they came back and started supporting us when we won the 2013 AFCON and some have left Nigeria’s Eagles after not qualifying for the 2015 Afcon again.
“It is football but Nigeria is our country and our blood is green and white. We should come out and keep supporting the team because there is a bright future ahead of the team,” he said.
Nigeria vs Uganda will kick off at 6pm today at the Uyo ‘Nest of Champions’ Stadium.