BY BOLAJI OKUNOLA
With the glaring drought in goalkeeping talents in the country, former Super Eagles’ shot stopper and now goalkeeper trainer, Alloy Agu has tasked goalkeepers to do more.
The international retirement of Vincent Enyeama and the persistent injury to Carl Ikeme opened up the reality of dearth of talents in that department of the game.
Gone appears to be the days when at least one good goalkeeper is on hand to take over from a fading one. That way, Eyo Essien was an easy replacement to Peter Fregene as the 1960s faded into the early 1970s.
The brief ‘reign’ of Eyo Essien saw the entrant of the great Emmanuel Okala in late 1972 and saw him in top flight action till the eve of the 1980 Africa Cup of Nations when Best Ogedegbe took over.
Since the exit of Ogedegbe in the early 1980s there were transitions to Peter Rufai, Alloy Agu, Willie Opara, Ike Shorunmu and Dele Aiyenugba.
Agu in a telephone conversation with www.sportsvillagesquare.com, remarked that time has come for current Nigerian goalkeepers step up their game to get attention in the national team.
He said: “Nigeria is blessed with a lot of stars in the domestic league and in Europe. I notice it’s been a while the Super Eagles kept clean sheets. Rome was not built in a day. I will be glad if they can keep improving themselves in their various clubs so as to make the work of the team coach easier.
“Although they are all doing fine presently but no one will applaud a goalkeeper who concedes a goal in virtually all matches.”
Agu remarked that he is having a tough time towards appointing a goalkeeper that will suit Super Eagles next game against South Africa.
“I can’t say anything about that for now. All I am appointed to do is to train the goal keepers to a level that will suit the national team game. The likes of Ikeme, Ezenwa and host of others are not bad but I can’t say who is fit for the upcoming game against South Africa.