Nigeria has millions of Enyeamas waiting to be discovered – Joe Erico

vincent enyeama
Former  Nigeria goalkeeper Joe Erico has said the country is blessed with world class goalkeepers as good as Vincent Enyeamabut they have been left undiscovered.32-year-old Enyeama, who recently won his 100th international cap for the Super Eagles, made his international debut in 2002 against Kenya, won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations title and has played at three World Cup finals

Erico, popularly called Jogo Bonito in his active days, pointed out that while the former Enyimba man is doing well with Lille, the sorry state of the Nigerian league is the reason why more goalkeepers have not been discovered like it was in the past.

“No doubt Vincent is doing very well at the moment but I have always insisted that the country is blessed with over a million Enyeamas, all that needs to be done is harnessing and grooming them to stardom. We need people to do that,” Erico told Goal.

“Then we had a league that was very competitive and monitored day in day out. It was quite interesting, enterprising and problem free which made people come out to watch and discover talents.

“Today, it is no longer of passion but that of materialism but the truth is that great goalkeepers will never stop being there for us but the question is that of packaging.”

He tasked the Nigeria Football Federation and the League Management Company to follow their proposal that will help discover great talents like Rufai, Shorunmu and Enyeama for the senior national team in future.

“When the league started the NFF had a blueprint for feeders and youth team programmes which was in existence then and no longer present today,” he continued.

“From all I gathered, the LMC are thinking towards that line of creating the enabling environment to discover future stars but the problem they will always face is that of finance because our football is not yet independent like in other parts of the world. Our clubs still run to the government to buy plasters and other common things.

“Should Enyeama leave today, I can bet you we have hands like [Daniel] Akpeyi, [Dele] Alampasu and thousands of goalkeepers waiting to replace him.

“We can’t stop producing world class goalkeepers in this country, all we need to do is catch them young,” Erico concluded.
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