23rd November, 2011
The dwindling fortunes of Nigeria’s senior national team, the Super Eagles, is giving the new coach, Stephen Keshi, a lot of concern and the former Hawks of Togo boss is planning to reverse this trend for good.
Keshi told P.M.Sports early today that one of the programmes he is planning is to set up an academy to discover and nuture young local talents, and make it a reservoir that will eventually feed the senior national team.
The coach added that he had been exclusively discussing the project with his employer, the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, until this morning when he revealed it to P.M.Sports.
â€œWith God at my side, after the Africa U-23 championship in Morocco, I will like to establish a football academy, called Young Eagles Football Academy, mainly for youngsters between the ages of 10 and 24 years,â€ said Keshi in a chat with P.M.Sports early today.
â€œI have started the mobilisation campaign from the Glass House (my employers). The aim of establishing the project is to fish out young talents that abound in the country. I want to use this project to weed out old and worn-out footballers among the current set of players in the senior national team.
“Unfortunately, I have not made this known to the public or the media, but the academy will be made up of players from secondary schools, amateur leagues and even the Premier League that fall within the age bracket.â€
The â€˜Big Bossâ€™ said he started the campaign from the NFF in order to get the necessary support from the Glass House and other stakeholders of the game.
Keshi assured Nigerians of his readiness to transform the Eagles to a formidable team within the shortest possibletime, adding that he and other coaches of the Eagles will leave nothing to chance to ensure the team once more becomes the toast of soccer-loving Nigerians.
Keshi is currently playing an advisory role at the U-23 Eaglesâ€™ Morocco camp in their campaign at the Olympic qualifying playoffs.
â€” Olusegun Abidoye