Head coach of the Nigeria national team, Stephen Keshi insists that “talents abound” in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and says he will continue to give domestically-based stars a chance to shine in the Super Eagles.
Keshi was in Nnewi on Sunday to watch the match day nine NPFL contest between Gabros FC and Sharks.
The Big Boss was suitably impressed with the standard of play and promised to continue encouraging domestic talent.
“I played in the Nigerian league before I went abroad during my playing days so I can’t turn my back on players in the league now that I am coach of the national team,” Keshi told supersport.com.
He added that players from the domestic league played an important role in helping the Super Eagles win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in South Africa.
“We all remember that players from the (NPFL) helped us a great deal to win the 2013 Afcon in South Africa.
“Talents abound in this league and we will continue to encourage them and give them that sense of belonging.
“I have already invited 26 players from the league to fight for places in the team that will face Chad (in a 2017 Afcon in Gabon).
“There will be a level-playing ground and any player who does well will get the chance to play even ahead of the foreign-based players,” he said.
Nigeria will face Chad at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna on June 13 in their first game of 2017 Afcon qualifying.