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‘Why I Couldn’t Include More Home-based Players In Super Eagles AFCON Squad’ —Eguavoen

‘Why I Couldn’t Include More Home-based Players In Super Eagles AFCON Squad’  —Eguavoen

Austine Eguavoen has explained why he could not include more home-based players in the Super Eagles 28-man squad for next month’s AFCON.

Enyimba goalkeeper John Noble is the only home-based player who made the final cut for the AFCON.

And Eguavoen gave reasons why he could not include more players from the home front.

“I had like seven home-based players I wanted to train with the Eagles and see what happens but my hands were tied,” the 1994 AFCON winner said in an interview on NFF TV.

Also Read: Watford Boss Ranieri: I Didn’t Insult Nigeria, AFCON

“The league only started this month and players have to play for their teams so no time to play any friendly games.

“I had to reach out to some of them in the league but we had to submit the list and there was no time to play friendly games but hopefully they will still have the chance.

“It really doesn’t make sense to bring them now and deny them from playing for their clubs, midweek and weekend and then we are on the trip to Cameroon and they go back home, it doesn’t really make sense but their chance will come.“

On Friday, the quartet of Semi Ajayi, Tyronne Ebuehi, Henry Onyekuru and Peter Olayinka were called in to replace Victor Osimhen, Shehu Abdullahi, Emmanuel Dennis and Leon Balogun.

And Eguavoen praised the players for their encouraging response despite not making the initial 28-man list.

“Onyekuru, Olayinka, Ebuehi, Ajayi all didn’t hesitate despite not being in the initial 28-man list. We had to reach out to Ebuehi’s club president (at Venezia) and reach an agreement. They just told us he should play the last game for them and they will make him available.

“So with the 28-man list we submitted now, I think it’s good enough, we just have to work hard and make Nigeria proud.“

And on the arrival of more players ahead of the AFCON which kicks off on January 9th, the 1994 and 1998 World Cup Star added:“Hopefully few of the players will come in tomorrow and the last ones will come in after their last games in Europe.

“When we touch down we will see what we can ask for. But the bottom line is that 97 per cent of the team are players that have been playing together and I believe the understanding is there.“

By James Agberebi

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  • There is an SE training video clip on Facebook. I wish CSN could upload it here. It was great seeing the boys bonding together. There was ambience, laughter and rigorous drill. I wish you SE good luck. God bless coachie. Up Nigeria!!!

    • Umanna Bassey 2 years ago

      I just saw it. Very nice.

    • Moses Inyang 2 years ago

      Better play with what you have Eguavoen.I have checked through the squad list of other countries and only very few play with one or two home based players Don’t be fooled by the minister and odegbami’s suggestions of having to play with six local player.Themselves will not do that if they were in your shoes.This was a strategy to make rohr fail.cheers.

      • That’s true, Eguavoen should bring his experience to bare. We also have to understand that if one hand washes the other they become clean. Odegbami wants the good of the super eagles, that can’t be taken away from him.

  • Umanna Bassey 2 years ago

    That Coach needs more time to reinvent the system. The problem of Africa is that we hardly believe in our own. In all, I see gold coming home. God bless our fatherland.

    • Friday 2 years ago

      The aspect of the interview shows how Eguavoen is interested in the inclusion of local players, that shows his interest in our local league. That is what the foreign coaches will not do. They will rather be inviting established players instead of developing the home base. Everything still boils down to nff to give us a coach who can develop our league. It doesn’t matter how long it takes after all Rome was not built in a day.

      • Our local league, hmmmm! NFF doesn’t remember it in their MoU with the portuguese.

  • Moses Inyang 2 years ago

    Have you watched our local league?Have you seen the level of refereeing and the winning on home ground at all costs,where are the facilities including simple things like good pitches?Have you seen the corruption of the officials including match commissioners?what about boardroom point buying by clubs yo outdo the others,poor welfare of players and coaches or the routine failure of our continental representatives.please NFF and sport ministry etc first address these and other problems with our league before washing your dirty linen outside with local players.Remember the Mexico friendly?Remember our recent routine failures in age grade competitions

    • Moses Inyang 2 years ago

      You want to use local players from our kind of league to go and play against salah,mane koulibaly,chipo-moting etc and against senegsl, Algeria(,Cameroon,Egypt,morocco etc.I wish you well Eguavoen.please just be objective and ressoable.you don’t fight an armoured tank with a stick.shalom

      • Coach Eguavoen you are very funny. So, you want to use our home-based players to play the likes of Choupo-Moting of Cameroun, Salah of Egypt; Mane of Senegal; Abedi Ayew of Ghana and the Algerian superstars and Morocco Atlas Lions? You will only come back with a basket of goals from all your first-round games if you try that.

    • KENNETH 2 years ago

      Oga, did all this accusations you levied happened in your presence. If so show us your evidence instead of some petty assumptions. Can we say the same applies in europe where teams pay other teams to win. Will you agree Alex ferguson was an influence on referees for Man united matches. etc And what is the crime in using home based. Last time i checked westerhof went to tunisia 94 with like 4 home based, stephen keshi did the same. The ones that took all professionals what did it fetch us.

      • Dennis 2 years ago

        So you think the standard of our league under westerhof is the same standard today? Please wake up son

  • Diran 2 years ago

    Remember the Mexico-friendly and the shambolic performance of the home-based Eagles? The standard of the Nigerian local league is very poor and the welfare of the players and administrative work done by the NFF and co is nothing to write home about. The consortium of Nigerian coaches led by Eguavoen and Salisu Yusuf should instead focus on building a strong team for the next CHAN African Nations Championship with the home-based players. Thanks

  • Ako AMADI 2 years ago

    Quota system selection of mediocrity is Nigeria underperforms in team sports. It is destroying excellence in all aspects of public life in Nigeria.

  • Ako AMADI 2 years ago

    If tge NFF and Ministry of Sports want home-based footballers why are they hiring a foreign coach?

  • Oluwatomiwa 2 years ago

    Before we can talk about the invitation of local players into the SE, we need to raise the standards of our leagues as it relates to the players remunerations, refereeing, standard pitch and etal. What is the standard of our league compared to the North African teams before we talk about even South Africa? It will be an understatement if we say is ridiculously low.

    The last match our local boys played was with mexico and they white washed us. The nearly spelt Nigeria.

    For the local boys to be able to contest well with our foreign pros, we need to put so much in place and until then, it will remain the same.

    Local players can not stand at par with their foreign counterparts. They still have a long way to go.

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