Poor technology, inadequate facilities stunting Nigeria’s football development, says Shorunmu

Former Super Eagles Goalkeeper, Ike Shorunmu, believes that if home-based players were exposed to modern technology trends and quality football facilities, the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) stars will compete favourably with their overseas-based counterparts in the national team.

Shorunmu told The Guardian at the weekend that in the past when the Nigerian league churned out quality players, being a top footballer or sports personality required quality training and proper guidance by a coach.

“In my days in the domestic league, Nigeria was able to produce quality goalkeepers like Peter Rufai, Patrick Okala, Wilfred Agbonavbare, Alloy Agu, Dosu Joseph and myself, among others, who were able to get first team shirts regularly in the Super Eagles because of hard work and encouragement from the older players.

“This trend also was also true for footballers in that era. But now, time has changed. Modern technology is the order of the day; a footballer can now get better if he trains with the right facilities.

“In Europe, players get used to different types of apparatus and modern facilities to train, which gives them more advantage over NPFL players.

“Coaches and players overseas even source for materials on the internet to study a particular skill or pattern of play. Nigeria-based players and goalkeepers do not have the luxury of training with this sophisticated facilities. How then do you expect them to compete with their foreign counterparts?

“Football has gone beyond natural talents and playing routine of jugging on the pitch with 11 players assembled together to prosecute a game. There are now scientific tools to improve a player’s skill and instill more value on the player’s pattern of play.

“You cannot expect the era where there was no Internet and phone to be the same with now where technology is the order of the day. Time has changed. People are more exposed to research now in soccer.”

Shorunmu called on Nigerian sports officials to flow with the trend by changing to the modern demands of grooming footballers as other forward-looking countries have already done. He added: “These modern facilities have to be in the country to bring out the best from the NPFL and grassroots players.”

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