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FIFA-licensed agent, Emelogu, worried over grassroots talent development in Nigeria

By Nelson Dafe, Lagos on 31/12/2013

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Nigeria may have recently won the last Under-17 World Cup in the UAE, but there are still concerns about the talent pool of quality and marketable young players in the country today. In an exclusive chat with News Express in Lagos, a FIFA-licensed players’ agent, Obinna Chukwudi Emelogu, expressed his dissatisfaction with the process of players’ development in the country.

“I’m not wholly satisfied that Nigeria is producing enough marketable young players,” he said.

Emelogu, who is CEO of Paradise Sports Management Company, is of the opinion that there are too many substandard players mingling with the few genuinely talented ones. He said: “At times I go to the football field and I see players, many of them are there not because they are really good, but simply because they don’t have jobs. After watching some players play I say to myself: ‘these people don’t have any business there’. They see that football is very lucrative and (they) tend to bend to the stimulus of money.”

The widely traveled players’ agent lamented the fact that there is a dearth of modern training facilities at the disposal of players. He is also irked that many grassroots coaches in Nigeria lack the requisite training and up-to-date knowledge of football coaching, arguing that this affects the quality of young players they churn out.

‘We don’t have many coaches who update themselves with the modern techniques of football,” Emelogu noted. “They just remain with whatever old knowledge they have. There’s football technology now. As other technologies (like cars) keep growing, football technology keeps growing as well. Many grassroots coaches can’t meet up with the speed at which the game is growing.”

On how he hunts for fresh football talents with a view to managing them, Emelogu revealed: “When I go to a new training ground, I try to stay anonymous, because I don’t want them to be under pressure. This way, I can see their real quality.”

Continuing, he said: “I look out for what a player does with and without the ball. What you do without the ball is equally as important as what you do with it. A player who doesn’t know how to position himself when he doesn’t have the ball can cost his team a game. So these are the kind of things I consider in opting for a player.”

Emelogu currently is the agent of two Super Eagles players, Kenneth Omeruo and Bright Dike.

•Photo shows FIFA-licensed players’ agent, Obinna Emelogu.

Source News Express

Posted 31/12/2013 4:08 PM

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