Lagos — Chief Coach of Nigeria's U-20 Flying Eagles, John Obuh has declared that he would not depend on foreign-based players in his programme for the African Youth Championship, AYC, scheduled for Algeria this year.
Obuh said that from experience, he had discovered that some of the professional players are not reliable and can disappoint when they are most needed.
The former Golden Eaglets coach to the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup, which Nigeria hosted, said that he has to be cautious and apply wisdom in extending invitation to Nigerian players plying their trade abroad in the U-20 level, as he has to ascertain the availability of such players before any invitation to the Flying Eagles.
"I won't depend on foreign-based players for my programme at this year's AYC," said the former Kwara United coach. "I won't hand invitation to players who cannot guaranteed their availability for the championship. I will not want a repeat of Ahmed Musa's saga where the player had to shuttle between his club's engagement and playing for the country at the last AYC in South Africa," he said.
The Sharks of Port Harcourt's coach further said: "My plan is to invite professional players to my team especially those who can deny themselves and sponsor themselves to play for the country. These players must however guarantee their availability.
"I won't like a situation where a player will be coming to the camp few days to the championship to pick shirt in my team. This cannot help the programme of a good coach. I prefer working with the home-based players for the AYC."
Nigeria will be playing in the AYC in Group B alongside Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon. In Group A are the hosts, Algeria, Benin, Ghana and Egypt.