The current Nigerian national team squad is full of foreign-based players, but a former international has urged the team’s coach to give more chances to the domestic league players
Former Green Eagles goalkeeper Andrew Aikhomogbe has urged the Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr to integrate a few players from Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) into the senior national team ahead of future engagements.
He made this known in an interview with Soccernet.ng from his base in Cairo, Egypt. Aikhomogbe, who expressed confidence in the ability of home-based players, hinted that it could also be the gateway for them to seal a big move.
“I think it’s high time we give more attention to players playing in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) if the Super Eagles must achieve something tangible,” Aikhomogbe told Soccernet.
“I remember how Sunday Mba’s goal helped the Super Eagles win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa under late Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi.
“Mind you, he was a home-based player at that time, and he was hungry and determined to make the country proud.”
“I must admit that it’s a gradual process, but then Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr must show serious attention towards them because most of the foreign-based players we talked about today started from the domestic league,” he added.
So far, a handful of the players, such as Enyimba’s duo of Anayo Iwuala and John Noble, and Abia Warriors defender Adekunle Adeleke, have been invited to the Super Eagles in recent games.
However, only Iwuala had the opportunity of playing, making his debut, coming on as a substitute against the Squirrels of Benin and the Crocodiles of Lesotho in the team’s final 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Iwuala also played in the two recent friendly games played against Cameroon.