Former Super Eagles midfielder, Seyi Olofinjana wants the Super Eagles to return to the past in terms of player selection for the team.
Speaking on Sports Zone which airs on Lagos State based radio station, Lagos Talks, Olofinjana said footballers who play in the Nigerian League can actually be prepared for the Super Eagles while they are still at home.
“I do not think our local players, for lack of a better phrase, are bad players. They just need the right education regarding what International football is about,” Olofinjana said.
“This is why the managers will look at the European markets to see what players are available.”
The former Wolverhampton Wanderers player described his time with the Super Eagles where the coaches had a program that easily integrated the home based players into the Super Eagles set up.
“Back in the day, when we played, Christian Chukwu had a program,” Olofinjana continued.
“As well as having the foreign based players that would come and play, there was the home based set who were groomed to play with the foreign players. It is preparation which gave the coaches an eye on these players and were able to groom them.
“It is not that the foreign players are that much better because the gap is not that big, they are just more exposed than the home players.
“Don’t get me wrong, our local players are not bad, I am just interested in the education and preparation for these big games,” Olofinjana said.
Olofinjana used Ronaldo at the 1994 World Cup as an example of how players can be groomed for greatness.
“Remember the example of Ronaldo at the 1994 World Cup where he did not play a game, then at the next World Cup he exploded. There must be a preparation for this.
“I still think with the players we have, Rohr is doing a good job. Back in those days, we had players in the Champions League finals, but it is not the same these days.
Football in Europe is moving forward every day but I do not think we are catching up in Africa. We need to start developing players at a very tender age,” Olofinjana said.