Assistant manager of the Super Eagles, George Finidi, has assured Nigerians, the stakeholders and followers of the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) that the league will have more representation in the Super Eagles.
The 1995 UEFA Champions League winner was appointed to the role in early April alongside a few others. They will now assist Jose Peseiro following the appointment of the former Venezuela and Sporting Lisbon manager early this week.
Before Peseiro was appointed, however, Salisu Yusuf, one of the new assistant coaches, was caretaker manager. And working together with Finidi and the rest of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) technical team, they selected a 30-man squad list for the upcoming friendlies against Mexico and Ecuador.
The list had 30 home-based players who received their first caps and could also debut for Nigeria in those matches. The 30-man shortlist will be trimmed down at a later date in preparation for the upcoming 2023 African Cup of Nations qualifiers. However, Finidi assures that there will always be a space for home-based players in the future squads.
Finidi started his career in Nigeria before moving abroad to become a serial winner and one of Nigeria's most decorated players. He has managed a few NPFL clubs and was the manager of The People's Elephant, Enyimba FC before being appointed to his Super Eagles assistant manager role.
We will guide Peseiro, Finidi says
Speaking to local media on the plans for the games, Finidi said the upcoming games provide a solid base upon which to build the new Super Eagles team. He then added that the games would be a great introduction to Peseiro – who is still yet to officially announce his acceptance of the new role – to his new squad.
“The friendlies would be used to assess players and work out modalities to transform the Super Eagles to the level it belongs,” Finidi said. “Because Peseiro is new with the Eagles, we, the assistants, have resolved to guide him where necessary and make him comfortable in the terrain when he arrives in Nigeria.”
Finidi to remain as Enyimba manager
Finidi also revealed that he still maintains his job at Enyimba in a similar fashion to Ralf Rangnick taking up the Austria national team manager role while working full time at Manchester United.
He then added: “Working with Enyimba has opened my eyes to the workings of the local league. Now, we will create more opportunities for NPFL players and ensure that only the best available Nigerians, no matter where they are based, get the chance to play for Nigeria.”
This article was most recently revised and updated 5 months ago