LAWAL BACKS HOME-BASED PLAYERS TO SHINE IN EAGLES

Ex-international, Garba Lawal, says footballers in the domestic league can live up to expectations in the Super Eagles, if given a chance by the coaches.

Lawal admitted that lack of confidence had been a major problem of players in the local league, saying it paved the way for footballers of Nigerian descent born overseas to take control of the team.

“I marvel when they say local league players are not good for the national team. This is wrong.  At least, when you invite quality players from the league, they will perform,” Lawal said.

“Most of the players born abroad only want to play for the Eagles because they are not assured of places in their countries of birth. But we have those who should represent us here not given the opportunities to excel with the national team.

“When I went to Julius Berger, I met over 60 players, including Taribo West, yet I believed in myself.

“It was in a game against 3SC at Akure that an Esperance scout saw me and approached me. The rest is history. If I had not had that belief in my abilities, I don’t think I would be here today.”

He urged the home-based players to believe in themselves, saying it would help propel them to stardom.

“This is what I expect our local league players to do,” he said. “Also, the Eagles coaching crew should give our boys that chance. How can you say that a whole league does not have a world-class player? It is wrong.

“It’s not everyone that can go to Europe to play football. Home-based players need all the encouragement they can get from our football administrators.”

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