Super Eagles need quality home-based goalkeepers, players to excel at AFCON -Olaniyi

Super Eagles need quality home-based goalkeepers, players to excel at AFCON -Olaniyi

Even as uncertainty surround the quality of goalkeeping that the Super Eagles will parade at the forthcoming 2023 AFCON, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the team’s technical crew have been urged to look inward, especially on finding lasting solution to the problem.

Since the exit of Vincent Enyeama and the retirement of Carl Ikeme, the department has suffered in terms of quality and consistency, with numerous hands being tested for that position.

But for Kwara United Football Club Goalkeeper Trainer, Alao Olaniyi, some.goalkeepers in the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) have proven beyond reasonable doubts, that they can bring about that much needed consistency, and quality delivery, when given the chance.

“I believe that we have good and quality goalkeepers in the NPFL, who have so far, proven themselves. What the NFF Technical Department and the Super Eagles technical crew need is just to monitor the system closely, and place the identified goalkeepers under watch.

“Goalkeepers like Ojo Olorunleke of Enyimba International, Doma United’s Kingdom Osayi, who has so far kept about nine or 10 clean sheets, Amas Obasogie of Insurance and even Adewale Adeyinka of Kwara United have the qualities to perform at bigger stages.

He recalled that Vincent Enyeama, then from the domestic league, was exposed to a bigger stage by Chief Adegboye Onigbinde at the 2002 World Cup, and against the Almighty England national team, and didn’t disappoint.

“At first, there was the criticism that Enyeama cannot kick, and he started building his kicks; they claimed.he cannot stop penalties, and he ended up saving penalties even in tough situations. From low confidence, he gradually rose to a higher level of confidence. That’s the same atmosphere that the home-based players need.

The former Sunshine Stars and Kogi United Goalkeeper Trainer also questioned the claims that its too late to pick home-based players for the 2023 AFCON, adding that the team needs players with African football mentality.

“The last time we won the AFCON in 2013, the team assembled by late Coach Stephen Keshi performed because the team was a mixture of home-based players, who are more rugged, and foreign-based player. We must take cognizance of the fact that we are playing AFCON, which has more African taste and rhythm.

“It’s never too late. For example, the league is on, and our goalkeepers are on duty week-in-week-out. What they needed is just the right atmosphere and support, they will surely come out good. For them playing every weekend, and sometimes in the midweek places them far and above the bench warmers we bring from Europe and other places”, he concluded.

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