Former Super Eagles Goalkeeper, Ike Shorunmu, has expressed dismay over the deplorable standard of Nigerian net tenders. The former Stationery Stores captain also warned that if the situation was not arrested on time, the Super Eagles could be in danger of not finding goalkeepers good enough to meet the demands of international football.
Shorunmu told The Guardian yesterday that the basic factors affecting the development of goalkeepers in the country were poor foundation and the indifferent attitude of the players during their formative years.
He also said the current process of selecting goalkeepers does not meet the required standard, adding that goalkeepers with the right height, interest and reflexes were shortchanged for shorter players, some of who don’t have the basic attributes for the position.
Drawing from his active days, Shorunmu said most goalkeepers that exceled in the Super Eagles in the past including Peter Rufai, Alloy Agu, Wilfred Agbonavbare and Vincent Enyeama, among others, succeeded because they discovered their potential very early and started developing their skills to face the challenges of the game.
He urged the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the League Management Company (LMC) to organize vibrant youth development programmes for goalkeepers and coaches, saying the move would help to produce quality goalkeepers for the country.
“It is very difficult for a goalkeeper to succeed if he does not have the basic height and qualities to function. In Nigeria of today, goalkeeping is an all comers affair as most youth dive into it out of joblessness.
“The Super Eagles had quality goalkeepers like Alloy Agu, Peter Rufai, Vincent Enyeama, myself and a host of others in the past because the Nigerian league produced players, who were hungry from their formative years to succeed in the art. You should also understand that these days, people lay much emphasis on money because of poverty.
“The goalkeepers in the Nigerian league should be paid well to motivate the younger ones to work hard for success. Adequate facilities should also be provided for the goalkeepers to train to meet international standard,’’ he said.
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