FEATURE ARTICLE

Cyril C. NwokejiSaturday, August 10, 2013
cyril.nwokeji@wol.be
Belgium

ANNOUNCE THIS ARTICLE
TO YOUR FRIENDS

A VERY BIG CONGRATULATIONS TO THE STEPHEN KESHI-LED TECHNICAL CREW,
THE CHAN JINX IS FINALLY BROKEN

Thompson Oliha

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ours sincerely was very much gratified by news of the eventual qualification of the home-based Super Eagles for the CHAN tournament, next year in South-Africa. The news was and is still even more gratifying, considering how the qualification was achieved. Those gallant Nigerians put up the fight of their lives, ensuring that the Ivorians, even on home soil, didn't take too much advantage of their 2-0 lead, obtained in the first 20 minutes of that match, and by so doing ,more than compensated for their initial, jittery start to the match. The Ivorian coach, in the post match analysis, confessed that his boys, did their best, but could not find their way through the rather tight tactical organization, put in place by the Stephen Keshi-led technical crew. We are thus gratified that the CHAN jinx, has finally been broken, and South Africa 2014 here we come!

One most hasten to add, that the qualification, for the CHAN championship, was not due to some accidental happenstance, but rather, the result of nearly two years of planning and hardwork, put up by the Stephen Keshi -led technical crew, since the reigns of tinkering the Super Eagles, fell on them.They have no doubt, done well so far for Nigerian soccer, at the senior level ; and one can only say, Kudos, and wish them more success, in the future.

Now we have qualified for the CHAN championship, how do we go to South Africa next year, to put op a very credible performance, worthy of Nigeria's reputation, as a top African soccer nation ? Yours sincerely, has a number of suggestions, in this regard :

  1. The technical crew, should map out a programme, immediately, for our effective participation in South Africa, come next year. This programme, should among other things, include the period of camping, before the tournament. Yours sincerely, will suggest, a camping period of at least, one month, or longer, before the tournament. This is achievable, since the players are home-based, and our indigenous clubsides tend to be relatively selfless, with regards, giving out players, for national assignments ;and if necessary, the NFF, could re-adjust the domestic league schedule, to accomodate this possible inconvenience.

  2. The home-based Eagles, according to the finances of the NFF, should undertake, preferably, a foreign playing tour. This would further expose the team, and make the players have more confidence in themselves, and as such avoid the near-ugly situation they found themselves , in Ivory coast, when they became jittery ,when it matterd most. The South African tournament, would even be a much bigger setting ; thus, the importance of exposure cannot be over-emphasized .

  3. Keshi and the technical crew, should continue to scout for more quality players, more especially, in positions ,where the likely occupants, are most likely to leave for greaner pastures , overseas, before the tournament begins.

  4. The NFF, should come out with a very much improved financial package, by way of allowances, to encourage those boys, notwhithstanding their so -called precarious financial situation.

  5. The technical crew, should put in place, a scouting department, to monitor our opponents.

  6. The players should be extra-motivated, by the technical crew, to do well in South Africa, knowing fully well that a successful CHAN outing, could increase their marketability, and make it easier for them to get foreign clubsides, with a better deal.

On a final note, I am sure the NFF, with benefiet of hindsight, wouldn't regret, their decision to participate in the CHAN championship, as oppossed to their earlier unpopular decision, to withdraw from the championship. It pays to listen to the voice of reason; in this regard, kudos to the NFF. The CHAN championship, in South Africa, in 2014, would certainly, grease their financial elbows.

After all said and done, all Nigerians ,should continue to be very supportive of this team, in every possible way, and hopefully, they would give us our hearts' desires in South Africa.

UP SUPER EAGLES, UP NIGERIA; SOUTH AFRICA 2014, HERE WE COME!

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