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Sports News of Tuesday, 23 November 2021


Nigeria must tap into ex-Eagles’ experience – Dare

Sports minister, Sunday Dare Sports minister, Sunday Dare

Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare says the nation must tap into the experience of players who played for the Super Eagles in the past.

Dare was speaking at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations trophy tour in Lagos on Monday.

“Undisputably, as a country and even as a sports minister, I must confess, we have not tapped into the talents, into the experience, into the network of (Austin) Jay Jay Okocha and I want to make a promise that would change.

“We must design a way that we must put our football development and thirst for glory in the hands of these people (ex-stars). We see other countries in Europe and America, they don’t dispense off their stars so easily because they bring so much, their experience is deep, they are able to connect with the younger players coming up. As a country, we will try to do that more,” Dare said.

The sports minister said in a country where talents abound, the nation must put structures in place to ensure that these talents are harnessed and developed.

He praised the efforts of past stars who have helped develop football one way or the other in the country after retiring from active service.

“We must be able to, not only get our talents to the top but also provide them with the training, mentorship and support structures needed to keep them there.

“Then we will be able to show that our successes are not happenstances or accidents but the result of a process produced by deliberate hard work, planning and a well thought out programme that has been developed by all stakeholders.

“AFCON is a huge platform to showcase African football talents, a shop window to the world. Nigeria has churned out a lot of talents that have massively impacted the game of football nationally and globally.

“After retiring from active sports, the athletes would still be very useful in producing the next generation of superstars. They would be the coaches, instructors, managers and ambassadors giving back to the sports that made them.

“Keshi would later lead the Super Eagles to Nigeria’s third AFCON title as head coach in 2013. He was the second man in history to win the tournament as a player and head coach after Egyptian legend Mohammed El Gohary.

“Keshi’s 1994 teammates – Austin Eguavoen, Samson Siasia and Sunday Oliseh have had their stints as Super Eagles head coaches at one time or the other.

“Some others like Daniel Amokachi, Finidi George, Emmanuel Amuneke, Nduka Ugbade and Mutiu Adepoju have also had successes as coaches with junior national teams and clubsides in Nigeria. Mutiu Adepoju is currently an ambassador for the Spanish La Liga,” Dare added.

Efan Ekoku is a football commentator for the English Premier League(EPL) while Victor Ikpeba works as a pundit for PayTV channel SuperSport.