Backroom staff member of the Super Eagles, Ayotunde Adelakun has reacted to the commentary ran on Sports Village Square on Wednesday 29 April regarding the selection of players to the Nigerian national team.
In the originating story carried by both the print and electronic versions of The Guardian, Adelakun reportedly explained on why players in the domestic league were often ignored in Super Eagles’ selection.
The story quoted him as saying that as one of the Super Eagles’ assistant coaches, “it was difficult for him to monitor players in the Nigerian league from his base in the United Kingdom because the games do not have visuals online that his team could critically study before recommending players to Rohr.
He noted that his job, which also includes sourcing for credible talented footballers of Nigerian heritage around the world, has yielded fruits in the past four years he has been working with Rohr.
He disclosed that he had 400 players on his data that are ready to play for the Super Eagles in the nearest future and assured Nigerians that he would always give his best to help develop Nigerian football at all levels.
“Scouting for players overseas is easy for me because there is a special software device I use to track Nigerian foreign-based players’ performance online.
“Any Nigerian player that is doing fine in Europe, if I get his contact and data, I use the device to watch his clips and study his performance. After this process, if I am satisfied, I will recommend to Rohr and he will also assess the player before taking the step to approach the player in his base.
In a reaction via strings of WhatsApp chats, Adelakun disclosed that he was quoted out of context in the originating story.
“To the article itself, I have to say – I was quoted out of context. And valuable parts of what I said were cut away in that piece.
“There is no way I will, expressly or by implication, say the selection of players remains my ‘property’. Never ever.”
Continuing, Adelakun remarked: “I never said Mr. Rohr ‘ignores NPFL players’. And I didn’t say I don’t pick them because I have no access.
“The bit that was left out was that I said ‘we have the assistant coaches in Nigeria who have always helped us in checking out the players in the NPFL by physically attending the matches and that they always give good advice on this and that Mr Rohr also goes when he’s in Nigeria and that my remit is usually with players out here.
“We have operated on this module with the likes of Coach Salisu (Yusuf), Coach Imama (Amapakabo) and Coach Alloy (Agwu) as well as scouts appointed by Mr Rohr himself like Victor Agali. And it has worked well.”