Bala: George should go local for assistant coaches

Bala: George should go local for assistant coaches
Finidi George ©Nor Akanja /BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Sunday May 12, 2024. 15:00

Former Nigeria U-23 assistant coach Abubakar Bala has urged new senior national team coach Finidi George to employ locals as his assistant coaches.

George was appointed to take charge of the Super Eagles by the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) last month, but his assistants have yet to be selected.

The 53-year-old Africa Cup of Nations winner reportedly wants to employ foreign coaches as his assistant(s), with United States U-19 coach Michael Nsien amongst those who have been mentioned.

However, Bala believes that George would do better to select a Nigerian assistant who has a strong knowledge of the local football scene.

I have seen online that he is going to bring foreign assistants,” Bala is quoted by Daily Trust.

It is not a bad idea, but he should be careful there also. He has been given an opportunity as an indigenous coach, so he should look inwards and give other local coaches opportunities, too.

He should consider those who are sound and will be loyal to him. It is better he works with his compatriots because they also know the [local] terrain and will be of great help to him.

Some of the coaches know the terrain even more than him. So, he should do everything to succeed to open more doors for Nigerian coaches.”

The Super Eagles will resume their 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign with matches against South Africa (home) and Benin (away) in early June.

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