Football fans in Ilorin have called on Super Eagles Coach, Gernot Rohr to consider proven home-based players in his team selection for the forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt scheduled for June.
The fans told the News Agency of Nigeria in separate interviews on Tuesday that Rohr should consider home-based players in his final 23 man squad, not just foreign-based players.
One of the fans, Saheed Usman, said some home-based players deserve to be selected to showcase their talent on the big stage.
” We have talented players plying their trade in the Nigerian League and they are better than some foreign-based players.
” Rohr should critically look inward and select those that are ready to play for their fatherland and not select big names that warm benches in Europe,” he said.
Another soccer fan, Mr Rotimi Adeoke, advised the Eagles Coach to select the best legs to represent Nigeria and not base his team selection on big stars.
” There is no need to respect any player because he plays in Manchester United, Chelsea, Barcelona or Liverpool. Select the ones that are ready to play for their fatherland.
” There are some players in the Nigerian League that have the hunger and zeal to play for Nigeria. Don’t beg or force any player to play irrespective of his status,” he said.
On his part, Philip Ikechukwu said Nigeria based players are equally talented as much as the hyped Europen players and deserve to be selected.
” As we see in South Africa 2013 when Nigeria won the AFCON with a superb performance from home-based players like Sunday Mba of Enugu Rangers, Godfrey Oboabona of Sunshine Akure and others.
” Rohr must not look down on home-based players. He needs to give them a chance to encourage and promote our league. You can’t write them off in order to favour foreign-based players,” said Ikechukwu.
Another enthusiast Femi Idowu, said Nigerians expect nothing but a victory from the Super Eagles in June. We want the Gold and nothing less.
” The Coach, players and fans have a lot to do to inspire them to victory. No need to underrate any opponent. No more underdog in football.
” Rohr and his boys must be determined to conquer Africa once more. he 2013 victory is past and we need another celebration,” he said.
NAN reports that the Super Eagles are drawn in Group B with Burundi, Guinea and Madagascar for the 2019 AFCON billed to hold in Egypt from June 21 to July 19.