The chairman of the Bet9ja Nigeria National League, Chidi Ofor-Okenwa, is disappointed that no player from the second tier Nigerian football league was called for the Nigerian domestic league assembly in preparation for qualification for the Kenya 2019 African Nations Championship, which is otherwise called CHAN.
In a press statement sent to Sports Village Square by Amar Ignis, the Media Officer of the lower league, the second-tier league boss urged Super Eagles’ Chief Coach, Salisu Yusuf to look beyond the elite Nigeria Professional Football League in his selection of national team players.
According to Okenwa, the national team selectors should give opportunity to some good players in the NNL.
“There is only a thin layer between NPFL and the NNL, players who can hold their own abound in the NNL and need CHAN as a chance to explode,” remarked Okenwa.
“We should not miss out the need to tap from the reservoir in NNL and its competitiveness which has kept the players vibrant currently”.
Okenwa further stated that players from lower Leagues like the English Championship in England that produced Carl Ikeme have proved that there is also “gold and diamond” elsewhere.
He illustrated his point by pointing at some players who featured in the lower leagues abroad but made impact in the previous Nigerian national teams.
He gave as examples, players like Samuel Okwaraji, Clement Temile then playing for Markwada Hawks a non premier side and Ruben Agboola – all not playing for elite clubs.
He then pointed out that the Bet9ja NNL boasts of players like John Chukwudi of Gateway FC and Michael Ohanu of Kwara United who are the leading goal scorers in the current season.
Others pointed out for possible considerations are Odinaka Ohaeke of Heartland, Lokosa Sewanu of First Bank, Success Chigozie of Papillo FC and William Ukeme of Bendel.