Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi, on Wednesday said he would continue to invite new players to the team. The Nigeria coach said the reason for the continued invitation of fresh players to the Eagles squad is to “ensure cohesion and continuity.”
He explained his position in an interactive session with reporters in Abuja on Wednesday while insisting that the invitation of five new players to the team to face Kenya on March 23 was deliberate. He argued that the team could not remain exactly the same just because Nigeria won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa last month.
He said, “We have a lot of young, good players out there that are hungry to play for this country, and you just need to encourage them to boost their morale. We cannot keep relying on older players every day. With an eye to the future, we want to have ready replacements for aging talents. “We won’t say because this group of players won the Nations Cup, therefore, they will remain there forever, while we still have two or three good players out there on the sidelines.”
A member of the technical committee of the Nigeria Football Federation had told The PUNCH just before Keshi submitted his list for the Kenyan match that the FA was not expecting a long list of fresh call-ups as the coach had built up a large squad of nearly 50 players he had invited to the camp in the last one year. He said that having played a major competition, they expected that Keshi should have found about the best 35 from the large team. But contrary to their expectations, Keshi called up two new players from Europe and another from the Nigerian league.