By Colin Udoh:
Dragoslav Stepanovic, the Serbian-born German coach who gave Austin ‘Jay-Jay’ Okocha his first break in the German Bundesliga with Eintracht Frankfurt is puzzled and disappointed that the Nigeria Football Federation did not invite him for an interview where he had hoped to present his case for the job of coaching the senior national team of Nigeria.
“I believe I am the best candidate for the job and the coach Nigeria needs right now. I have a long term plan for Nigerian football, I am ready to live and work in Nigeria and want to help develop grassroots football, therefore I am surprised the Nigeria Football Federation has ignored me so far and are only chasing after the big names and ignoring someone like me who is only asking for an opportunity to be interviewed so I can present my case,” Stepanovic said.
He claims that his CV was twice sent to the NFF officials first on January 30 and subsequently on February 15 through his Nigerian contact, Ibi Ajayi of Omega Sports USA, but never received an acknowledgement.
“If the NFF could consider Metsu, Lagerback, Toppmoeller and Peter Taylor, then I believe I am also more than qualified and at least deserve an interview. Initially they said that new names will not be added to their shortlist, but Glen Hoddle and Sven-Goran Eriksson were later interviewed. I have a perfect understanding of Nigerian football and have the pedigree and drive to make Nigerian football great again.”
Stepi’s coaching experience spans almost 2 decades, with to stints in Germany, Spain, China, Egypt and his native Serbia. He also runs a youth academy in Germany for developing grassroots talent, a model he says he hopes to implement if given the opportunity to work with the Nigeria Football Federation.
He is also a television pundit and is fluent in English, German, Spanish and Yugoslav.
Nigeria are expected to name a new coach by this weekend, after interviewing five candidates for the job.
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