Lost, But Siasia Found ‘Em: Nnamani, 8 Others Discovered For Nigeria

Samson Siasia

Samson Siasia

No fewer than 9 Nigerian players, who had eitherbeen forgotten or lost to other countries’ youth teams have been found by Super Eagles’ Chief Coach, Samson Siasia.

Samson Siasia

Siasia, said Nigera has enough players in the lower leagues in England, who can fit into the four national teams; the Golden Eaglets, Flying Eagles, U-23 Eagles and Super Eagles.

The Eagles’ coach, is already in England to run the rule over highly-rated Crystal Palace defender Jerry Nnamani and several relatively unknown Nigerian youngsters in the lower tiers of the English league.

Siasia left Nigeria Friday to join his assistant Simon Kalika in Holland and they were expected to hit England by the weekend. Other players on Siasia’s wish list are Magnus Okunagbe from Colchester United and Tom Adeyemi of Bradford City.

Adeyemi, a Norwich City midfielder, recently extended his loan deal at Bradford City until the end of the season. The 19-year-old, has played several games since switching to Valley Parade, finding the net in crucial games.

Bantams boss Peter Taylor told BBC Radio Norfolk: “Adeyemi’s got great potential. He’s a top lad. I’m sure he’s learning all the time, I’m pleased with him but there’s still bits and pieces to improve,” he said.

“If he was the finished article Paul Lambert wouldn’t want him out on loan. He’s had a couple of games at home where you would like him to be a little more confident.”

Nnamani, who is 19 is a strapping central defender who has already been compared to former Eagles skipper Uche Okechukwu and the youngster may be another asset to the Super Eagles.

“Nnamani plays for Crystal Palace and he has already been compared with former Eagles skipper, Uche Okechukwu. He has Okechukwu’s physique, a good stopper and also good in aerial balls,” disclosed a London-based scout Omobolaji Oyegunle, who is collaborating with Siasia on his week-long working visit.

“The player is being sought after by several Premier League clubs here in England and his rating soars everyday.”

It was gathered that Siasia will meet another central defender, Magnus Okunagbe, who stars for Colchester United. The player is said to be good at right back. Nnamani is above six feet and doing well in his club, while the scouts say there are two good Nigerian goalkeepers playing in England too, just to mention a few.

The Eagles coach said he would reveal his discoveries after his visit, but he is excited about the pool of young Nigerian players in the lower leagues in England.

Before his departure to Holland on Friday night, Siasia said that the president of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Aminu Maigari, has directed he flies out to London to have a look at some young Nigerian players who are under 20 years and are doing well in the lower leagues there.

“The NFF President has just directed that I should travel to England to monitor nine U-19 Nigerian players who are relatively unknown to Nigerians,” said Siasia on mtnfootball.com.

“I am most grateful to the NFF boss for his ingenuity and unflinching interest in the development of football in this country. I would say this is the first time I will witness such a move from a top official in the country. It is quite encouraging and I promise to handle the job well,” he enthused.

Siasia will also use the opportunity to see if he could fast track on the switch of allegiance of Wigan Athletic winger Victor Moses and Shola Ameobi of Newcastle United.


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