Former Green Eagles captain, Chief Segun Odegbami (MON) has advised the Super Eagles Chief Coach, Stephen Keshi to look beyond the 2013 Nations Cup holding in South Africa and plan for the subsequent edition in 2015.
Chief Odegbami, who won the African Club Winners Cup with Shooting Stars of Ibadan in 1976 spoke in Lagos on the chances of the Eagles against group mates Zambia, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia as well as in the entire competition during a press briefing to usher in the 2013 NNPC/Shell Cup for All Nigeria Secondary Schools Football Championships.
“I think Keshi should concentrate on building the team which he is already doing by blending the local players with the Europe-based ones. I don’t think we have a team that can win the 2013 Nations Cup yet,” he said.
He said that by blending the players from the local league with their foreign-based counterparts, Keshi was on the right path of building a team that Nigerians would be proud of, not necessarily for the 2013 Nations Cup, adding however that “if they go on to win the Nations Cup in South Africa, that would be a bonus. The team should be strong enough to win the 2015 Nations Cup.” Meanwhile, Chief Odegbami said that the NNPC/Shell Cup would continue to produce younger players who could fit into any of the nation’s age grade football teams even as he challenged the press to point to any member of the current Golden Eaglets who is in school.
“Genuine U-17 players should still be in school and not playing for any club. The NNPC/Shell Cup is not an age grade competition, it is for secondary school students but that does not mean that those who are 30 years can play in the competition, that is why there is some level of screening to ascertain only those are young participate,” he stressed.