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Wonderful Kanu

Posted by By GBOLAHAN DADA on 2006/10/23 | Views: 1624 |

Wonderful Kanu


Super Eagles striker, Nwankwo Kanu’s profile is growing faster than ever imagined. In spite of his age, he is at present contesting Premiership goal-scoring award and helping Portsmouth move to a respectable position. He scores at every Portsmouth’s game, as he has netted six goals so far, sharing No.1 position with Everton’s Andy Johnson.

* NFA board member, Dr. Peter Singabele, describes Portsmouth striker as a good role model for Nigerian football

Super Eagles striker, Nwankwo Kanu’s profile is growing faster than ever imagined. In spite of his age, he is at present contesting Premiership goal-scoring award and helping Portsmouth move to a respectable position. He scores at every Portsmouth’s game, as he has netted six goals so far, sharing No.1 position with Everton’s Andy Johnson.

Just as his profile grows in England, so also has his own prophet honoured in his native land, Nigeria. Nigeria Football Association (NFA) board member, Dr. Peter Singabele, is full of praises for the leggy striker, saying "he’s a role model for all Nigerian kids.

"Kanu is a wonderful Nigerian," Dr. Singabele said. "How I wish every Nigerian is as patriotic as the young man. His commitment to both club and national assignments these days are commendable. Honestly, Kanu is a role model for up-coming players in the country."
Speaking to Daily Sunsport, Singabele applauded the leadership qualities in Kanu and said the Portsmouth player has remained steadfast and immovable in his attitude to life and career.
Singabele said he was so impressed that Kanu has been able to keep his head to play his game for his club and country, and also maintained his integrity in the society.

"I have been following Kanu’s career before I came on the board of the FA. He has set a good example to the youths of this country. Kanu has never ignored national invitations. He is fantastic at club level, scoring goals like never before and still has time to attend to kids with heart problems. He is rendering a selfless service to humanity," he said.

"Look at his career from Under-17 when they won the FIFA World Youth Championship in Japan 1993 and Olympic football gold medal in 1996, he has won many laurels for Nigeria. But quite unlike many Nigerian players who would have lost their heads, Kanu remains who he is – level-headed, calm and what I can call an embodiment of humility. The magic has never diminished. He is a wonderful player and I hope some young players would emulate him in that regard."

Portsmouth have been celebrating the might of the Nigerian star, as they are not ready to lose him to any club. Pompey manager, Harry Redknapp, wanted to keep the player for a longer period, even though he signed just a year’s deal with the club.
Andy Cole, Kanu’s teammate at Portsmouth, believes the club would not lack a quality finisher when he retires because they have Kanu. "I can't believe how good Kanu is. Some of the things he can do are phenomenal. He's got six goals already and I'm sure he'll get more."

OKOCHA’s RETURN
Many football pundits had reacted to the idea of bringing back former Super Eagles’ skipper, Austin Okocha, but Singabele said only the Austin Eguavoen-led technical crew could explain why they wanted the former Bolton Wanderers player in their plans.
"I agree with Chief Adegboye Onigbinde’s comment that only the coaches knew why they want Okocha to return. I cannot challenge the coach on that decision because he has seen Okocha’s current form and he believes he’s still useful. He could bring him back to motivate others. First of all, we look at the present fitness level of the player. He might still be able to play for a few minutes."

MIKEL and OBAFEMI
Singabele said NFA is excited about the recent transfer of John Mikel Obi and Obafemi Martins to the Premiership, and they hope to see them succeed with their new clubs.
He, however, advised Eguavoen to start monitoring the progress of the players and others playing across Europe.

"It is the duty of the national coaches to monitor these players across Europe, they can be a sort of pool where we can draw from for important matches and for the world to know that our players are making progress.

NFA PROBLEMS
Members of the NFA have developed goose pimples on how to employ the best technical adviser for the national team, as applications poured in in torrents from different parts of the world for the Eagles’ job.

After weeks of deliberations, consultations and opinion samplings, the board accepted the request by the Sports Minister, Bala Bawa Ka’oje, for a foreign coach to be employed for the Eagles.
But the board were shocked that the ministry, which ordered the foreign coach’s employment, is not ready to foot the bills, even as they also planned to retain Coach Eguavoen to work with the foreigner.

However, Eguavoen and his crew would remain in the team. Their contracts will be renewed upwardly as they had set-up a marketing subcommittee, headed by Obinna Ogba. The committee will look for sponsors that would take care of remunerations and entitlements of the technical adviser.
The foreign coach is expected to be employed, but that would depend on how soon the committee secured sponsors to foot the bills of the expatriate coach.
Eguavoen’s contract with the NFA ended in September 2006 and the NFA board decided to review his contract alongside his crew members, following their impressive performance since taking over the job from Christian Chukwu.

We have resources in this country, and our problem has always been how to manage them.
First of all, we would sit back and study the problems in our football, one of which is over-reliance on old players. I’m talking about the like of Kanu and Okocha. We are not doing anything to replace them. We would go back to the grassroots to hunt for talents; go to the rural areas and discover more of them.

For the national teams, we would arrange international friendlies and, above all, we need to re-organise the football house. The NFA secretariat has to be properly restructured; we must also involve the private sector and put life back into our marketing department. We need to computerize our football and work well with other FAs across the world. We would study them well and learn more on how to set up a result-oriented football house.

TECHNICAL DEPARTMENT
"This department is the backbone of Nigerian football and we need to invest more in it. We should have a very vibrant and effective technical department. We should be able to train our coaches or send them on coaching courses abroad, and we should not only rely on the belief that only white-skinned coaches could save our football. We have materials here, so let us work on what we have," he advised.

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