Adegboye Onigbinde, a former Super Eagles Head Coach, has charged the country's football authorities to institute a durable grassroots development programme, to nurture budding talents to stardom.
Onigbinde said yesterday in a telephone interview in Lagos that a dedicated developmental approach was needed to groom the next generation of players for the nation's cadet teams.
He said that years of decadence in the sports sector had denied genuine grassroots talents the opportunity to represent the country at FIFA age-grade competitions.
"I have talked and written about the need to have a developmental structure, for sports and football in particular to thrive; we hope that someday the change will come.
"In countries where they have such programmes in place, a 12-year-old child is already conversant with some football techniques because of the processes the child had undergone.
"The handlers of budding talents in the country should do likewise by drawing up a programme to guide our budding talents to stardom," Onigbinde stressed.
The coach, who is also a CAF and FIFA instructor, charged John Obuh, coach of the Flying Eagles (U-20) squad currently preparing for the Africa Youth Championship (AYC) to do the needful.
"The coach should come up with a robust, technical programme that will ensure that the team does well at the competition," he said.
NAN reports that the 2013 edition of the AYC is scheduled to hold from March 16 to March 30 in Morocco, with the Flying Eagles as the defending champion.