Reappointed coach of the Nigeria U17 team Manu Garba has given his views on players eligible for his team where born abroad, and want to represent Nigeria ahead of their country of birth.
Lot of Nigerian lads born abroad are scattered around the academies of top teams in Europe, and with the recent drive by coach of the senior national team of Nigeria Gernot Rohr in luring players born abroad, Manu says he is ready to tow same line.
Speaking to Owngoalnigeria.com in an exclusive interview, the soft spoken coach however outlined conditions they must meet if they want to be part of his U17 team, who are set to resume camping soon.
” We are ready to receive players born abroad who are eligible to play for Nigeria and want to play. You can’t deny them their fundamental right. As a coach I have had some of them in the past. Like Ovie Ejaria at Liverpool “, the coach told Owngoalnigeria.com.
” But I will like to state here that they won’t be giving any preferential treatment , and they have to be better than the players we have in the team. Merit will be out watchword not where you’re coming from”.
On the issue of scouting of players for the team who are expected to play their first qualifiers in April, the coach said he has done most of what he need to do, hence they won’t be any need for open screening like he has always done in time past.
” Our first qualifiers is in April, hence we don’t have enough time to conduct an open screening. If you throw the gate open, you will say over 2,000 players in attendance. It’s not a bad idea, it has worked for us before but now we don’t have time.
” As a team we have pencilled down players who the commencement of training. I have been very busy touring Nigeria for eligible players, my assistants have also done their own bit. So we will harmonise our list before we start training hopefully later this month”, the coach concluded.