By: Obiweluozo Martins
As the CAF U-23 Championship began in Senegal, there were questions as regards the Dream Team VI participation in the Championship coupled with off field distractions as players were not released and on time as well for the announce of the squad list. Also Coach Samson’s Siasia’s mom was abducted but with special thanks to all hands on desk was released before the first games.
The Dream Team IV was missing stars like Alex Iwobi and Musa Yahaya but still Nigerians watched with keen interest expecting the team to secure the Olympic ticket. Indeed even with the withdrawal of some players, the Samson Siasia led side was able to qualify for the tournament in Rio, De Janeiro, Brazil next year.
On this note SoccerNet Nigeria takes a look at why the Dream Team VI needed the Olympic ticket.
FOR SCOUT RECOGNITION
Etebo, One of those talent that need global recognition
Over the years, scout have watched major tournament for identification of talents and stars of the future and the Olympic Games offers an avenue for talent to be showcased and therefore with this qualification Nigerians players on parade at next year football event will be scouted and recognized by scout who would watch match proceeding during the tournament.
Nigerian players have always been of keen interest to the scout as the nation is renowned with talented players and this tournament will further help in exposing some decent Nigerian players to the watching eye of scout across the globe when the tournament gets under way in Rio, Brazil.
IMPROVE PROFILE OF THE PLAYERS
The Olympic Games is a tournament which is well renowned in the games and the football event will definitely catch the eye of many both the scout, coaches and supporters (fans) as well. This will lead to media talk, hype and several interest from clubs as this competition would aid in improving the profile of the player and bring them into limelight to the footballing world as coaches are also taking their time in identifying those that can improve their squad in the near future.
This Olympic Games will offer players like Usman Mohammed, Azubuike Okechukwu and Etebo Oghenekaro an opportunity to improve their profile as clubs in Europe may be locking around at the door with potential deals.
TO RESTORE OUR LOST REPUTATION
To restore the Nigerian football tradition on the global stage
The Nigerian football fortunes have dwindled over the ages with the recurring struggle of our national team to win games and win convincingly, but the Olympic Games is an opportunity for Nigeria to right their wrong and restore pride for this great football nation Nigeria.
Players like Azubuike Okechukwu, Kelechi Iheanacho and Moses Simon have the capability to put Nigeria’s name on the football map once again to the notice of the world at the Olympic Games next year in Rio. The football world and Africa as well has been waiting for Nigeria to come on board and show what it is made off but due to some instability our national team have faltered over the years but the onus is on the Dream Team VI led by Samson Siasia to come back to reckoning and take it right place at the top and thus restoring the pride and belief every one had in the Nigeria football trajectory. The time is now and it can be done once again with a superb performance at the Olympic Games next year in Rio, Brazil.
ENHANCING THE COACHES TRUST AT CLUB LEVEL
Iheanacho, certainly need to showcase himself at the Olympics.
Players like Kelechi Iheanacho, Musa Yahaya and Alex Iwobi hopefully would be offered another opportunity to impress at the Olympic Games and this will propel their reputation at club level and endear them to the heart of their club managers if success and good performance is attained by these players at the Olympic Games next year in Rio, Brazil. This in turn will win them a place in the eyes of the club and they will be respected at club level as they are also sorted after by prospective suitors.
When you perform at the Olympic Games where all eyes are on you, it makes you a hot property (every team would want to have your signature for a deal) and it will be a massive one for these Nigerian players. Barcelona defender Godswill Ekpolor who is down behind Daniel Alves in the packing order, if selected may have a chance to make a case for himself and fight for a shirt in the Barcelona first team.
POSITIVE TRANSITION TO THE SUPER EAGLES
Our youth teams the hope of our Super Eagles
The Dream Team is the next youth level to the Senior National Teams and the Olympic Games would offer Super Eagles coach a clear cut ideas of players to be integrated into the Super Eagles fold. The failure to qualify for the previous edition won my Mexico in 2012 haunted Nigeria football as their was failure also in AFCON qualification in 2014 as super Eagles struggled do to lack of quality inclusion in the team as the then Dream Team was forgotten.
This affected the Nigerian football hemisphere as quality players like Lukman Haruna, Nosa Igiebor Rabiu Ibrahim, Anthony Ujah, and Ekigho Ehiosun could not come on board and secure better deals in Europe and the coach did not really look their way due to their failure to qualify. It derived Nigeria a chance to unearthed a superb generation of players which are now scattered into oblivion across Europe but with the qualification for the next year event except a massive junk of the Dream Team VI that comprises of Oghenekaro Etebo, Chidiebere Nwakali, Isaac Success, Sincere Seth and Alex Iwobi to make the breakthrough to the National Team on consistent basis to the benefit of the Senior national team, the Super Eagles and for Nigeria football at large.