By KATE OBODO
Former Super Falcons coach, Niyi Akande has warned the Under-23 coach, Austin Eguavoen not to blame anyone should the team fail to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics.
Akande, a coach of the relegated Crown Football Club of Ogbomosho, blasted Eguavoen for relying solely on foreign-based players, saying only lazy coaches depend on polished players to execute his plans. Adding that Nigeria has rich pool of talented players to discover and raise up to stardom.
“It’s sad that Lukman Haruna, Ekigho Ehiosun, Nnamdi Oduamadi, Odion Ighaho and others will not be playing in the team, so what, he asked. Adding, “Eguavoen should not give us excuses whatsoever. He should have known that the competition is not listed on FIFA calender. The non-release of his foreign-based players does not mean they will not win and Nigerians will not accept that if things go contrary because he has plenty of Under-23 players in the country.
“As a coach you have to work hard and discover players. These clubs in question brought the players from Nigeria and make them what they are. The same should be for our coaches, they should learn to go out scouting and discovering talents and then polish them rather than focussing on foreign players. I believe in the players he has in the team, they will given him the required result he needs, because these boys really want to make names for themselves,” he said.
On how far he thinks the team will go in the competition without the key players, Akande said, “Let us see their first match, then we will know how they will go. For now, my prayer is for them to win because they have a lot of complaints and fear about the cold weather.
They should get accustomed to the weather. “In all, they should ensure that they win laurels for Nigeria. All we need now, is winning, we do not want any excuse. Nigeria is tired of loosing every time, we want them to go out there and win. Winning and qualifying will serve as a Christmas gift to Nigeria,” he added.
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