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AFCON 2019: Expert calls for early preparation, groom talents

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AFCON

By Dianabasi Effiong

Port Harcourt, Feb. 20, 2019 Mr Ogbonna Nwuke, a Port Harcourt-based journalist and politician, has called for early preparation and quality friendlies for the Super Eagles ahead of the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) .

Nwuke made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, ahead of Nigeria’s participation in 2019 AFCON.

The competition is expected to hold from June 21 to July 19 in Egypt with 24 participating national teams.

“You will find that in comparison to other countries which take their time to play serious friendlies, you don’t usually find that in Nigeria.

“We just come late and then may be because God is a Nigerian; we manage to go beyond the first round and so on.

“I think that what is critical at this point in time is to change our coaching to achieve positive results,’’ Nwuke said.

He also appealed to the Super Eagles Technical crew to groom talents for national teams, to complement players invited from abroad.

“A good technical adviser/coach should go down, examine the local league and invite the best to complement professionals invited from abroad.

“The role also demands that he should not just get up and run but get down and develop our football. That is supposed to make him very different from of the coaches found in Nigeria,’’ he said.

He commended Gernot Rhor, the Super Eagles Technical Adviser, for adding value to our national team.

“When Gernot Rohr came here his intention was to develop our soccer, most of our local players were not as exposed as they are today. It means there is something unique in him.

“Nigerians love football and talents abound here.

“But Rhor should find time to reach out to know what the local teams are doing in the league to be sure of what players to further develop.

“A serious coach will go down and try to find out the best approach to develop talents.

“He should not be seen as one who simply makes use of talents that were developed by others.’’

He said that the Nigerian football league had the potential for development, to match any league in the world.

“Of course, we have upcoming young talents in our league. All we need to do now is to find the best way of developing our league, compared to what is happening in South Africa.

DOE/DUA

Edited by Dada Ahmed

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