Barring any last minute change of heart, the leadership of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has concluded plans to name the incumbent Plateau United Chief Coach Abdu Maikaba as the next manager of the national U-20 team Flying Eagles.
According to a reliable source to the NFF technical Department, Abdu Maikaba is highly flavoured due to his track record on the domestic league coupled with the federation’s new philosophy to build the national teams around domestic league players.
“Maikaba is known and experienced on our domestic league and he knows virtually all the players in our league since many of them had passed through him and we have the confidence that he will build a formidable team that will graduate to the National U-23 team,” the source told NationSport.
“We have good and talented players at home; what we need is a good coach who understands our league and can put them together for a better result. Last year, Nigeria did not do well in both CAF and FIFA tournaments because we rely so much on foreign-based players even for age-grade competition while other African countries use the age-grade championships to develop their local league.”
“Henceforth, the NFF want to use our age-grade competitions to develop our football from the grassroots.”
“If we have 90 per cent of our Local players in the national teams, there is no way we can’t do well in Africa and the world at large. Maikaba is doing well currently in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) by the maintaining number one spot with Plateau United and appointing him will be the right thing,” the source added.
Meanwhile, NationSport gathered that the football house is aiming to monitor the national team coaches by demanding a weekly camp report once they are appointed.
“This time, we want result,” the source further said. “The Technical Department will make it compulsory for the coaches to defend the players invited to the national team before making it public; and we may even adopt a system where they will defend the list before the press,” he said.