Monday Jun 22, 2020. 09:00
Lobi Stars coach Gbenga Ogunbote has urged players in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) to work hard and earn spots on the Super Eagles’ roster.
Nigeria national team coach Gernot Rohr has been urged to select more local-based players whenever possible, and Ogunbote has welcomed the news that the German and his technical team will be watching the NPFL closely.
However, he has urged players in Nigeria’s top flight to work hard and show character in order to earn the privilege of pulling on a Super Eagles jersey.
“Every player, either home-based or playing abroad has a right to represent the nation as long as he is Nigerian,” Ogunbote told The Guardian.
“The news that NPFL players will be watched during league games is interesting and very good. Before now, the coaching crew of the Super Eagles never had confidence in the domestic league players.
“It is a question of time and we will see to whether the players are of good quality or not. I know the Eagles’ coaching crew would be convinced because we have very good players in the domestic league.”
He added, “The truth is that before now, the domestic players used to have a lot of publicity at home playing for the national team. But when they are not being considered again, of course, the next thing is to go for trials in Europe on their own.
“At least with the new development, the local league players once again have the opportunity to not only sell themselves to the Eagles’ coaching crew but also play their way to clubs in Europe. Therefore, my advice to them is to take this opportunity.
“They need to grab this opportunity as long as it is on a level-playing field with the foreign-based players and make good use of it.
“The NPFL players need to know fully well that for them to be part of top-flight leagues in Europe, they need to do more by displacing their counterparts from Europe for Eagles shirts and make it their own permanently. But this can only come through hard work.”