The Super Eagles handler must integrate more home-grown stars into the national team if he is given a contract extension, former Nigeria international, Finidi George has advised.
Gernot Rohr is in a contract struggle with the Nigerian Football Federation with his current deal set to expire within the next six months. But if he is eventually asked to continue with the job he started in August 2016, Finidi has tasked him to relocate from his base in Europe and reside in Nigeria.
Regarded as one of Nigeria’s greatest wingers, Finidi started playing football on the streets of Port Harcourt. He later excelled for Sharks FC before he landed in the Eredivisie where he was instrumental in Ajax Amsterdam’s three league titles and the 1995 UEFA Champions League.
Rohr has never hidden his bias for foreign-based professionals and has seldom given the stars of the Nigeria Professional Football League a chance to stake claims to spots in his team.
During his three-year spell as head coach of the Super Eagles, the former Bordeaux manager has only given Heartland’s goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa an extended run in the national team.
But Finidi, a product of the local league himself, insists that must change for the Super Eagles to become an efficient side. The 62-cap ex-international believes the first step towards getting the best from the home-based pool of stars should be for Rohr to live in the country.
“He(Rohr) should come and live in Nigeria. I am not saying he should live in Nigeria for a whole year. Let him come and stay, maybe three or four months, he can go home and visit his family,” Nigeria’s most famous No.7 told The Vanguard News.
“He should be visiting match venues, monitoring players, and grooming them. I was discovered that way; myself, Ike Shorunmu, Ajibade Babalade.
“We were playing here, attending tournaments and we grew up that way, so by the time they say they need you in the main Super Eagles, you would be ready.”
Finidi rose from being a home-based star to winning the 1994 African Cup of Nations with the Super Eagles. He also appeared in two World Cups finals.