Super Eagles assistant coach, Finidi George, has expressed hope in Nigeria Professional Football League players to make the cut for the squad for the double-header 2023 AFCON qualifier against Guinea Bissau on March 24 and 27.
Players and officials of the team are expected to resume in Abuja next week to begin preparation for the games, even as the coach Jose Peseiro is yet to drop his list of players.
While Nigerians are, however, waiting for the names of the players that would prosecute the game, Finidi, who is also the coach of eight-time NPFL champions, Enyimba, says the league has players that are good enough to be part of the team.
“As assistant coaches of the Super Eagles, our job is to contribute and help the head coach (Peseiro). He needs our support and we will give him. If there are players that are good enough that we see and can make it, not just to go to the camp and come back, but go there and make an impact, we will give him that advice and we will make sure we get the best out of the players,” Finidi told our correspondent.
The 1994 AFCON winner however discarded the notion of fielding only NPFL players for the Guinea Bissau game, adding that the national team was better with a blend of home-based and overseas-based players.
“The game against Guinea Bissau, if it’s necessary, we have to mix the team; bring some home-based players and overseas-based players and see how we can get the result. But this notion that no player based abroad should be invited is not totally a good idea.
“I will always say that if we see players that are capable of going there and making an impact, we will give them that opportunity. It’s always nice to mix the players, we will see how everything will go,” he added.
Meanwhile, Guinea-Bissau’s head coach, Baciro Cande, has unveiled a 25-man squad for the matches against Nigeria.
Among the top stars on the list are CD Feirense of Portugal forward, Esmiraldo Sa da Silva, Waregem’s Zinho Gano and Mamadi Camara, who plays for Championship club, Reading.
According to reports, the Djurtus will open camp for the qualifiers on Sunday and travel to Abuja two days later.
The first leg is billed for the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja March 24, while the reverse fixture holds at the Nacional 24 de Setembro Stadium in Bissau March 27.