Stories Albert Akota
The Golden Eaglets’ German-trained goalkeeper coach Emeka Amadi, has thumbed-up the lads under his watch as the Under-17 National Team’s screening is gradually drawing to an end.
Amadi was applauded far and wide after Dele Alampasu was crowned as the Best Goalkeeper at the last FIFA Under-17 World Cup in the UAE.
Also a fortnight ago, he added another feather to his growing profile with the choice of new recruit; Benjamin Amos as the Best Goalkeeper at the recently concluded WAFU B Tournament in Togo.
“So far, so good with the calibre of goalkeepers that we have now in camp,” said Amadi, the former youth international famous for his heroics at the 1989 FIFA Under-20 World Cup where Nigeria came second.
“We already have two goalkeepers in camp, Amos and Femi Idowu but altogether, we have a pool of seven goalkeepers which we are looking at closely.
“At this stage the last time, we were in dire situation because most of the goalkeepers that came forward were not up to standard but I’m very impressed with the ones we have now,” he stated.
Amadi who took time during the off season to update his knowledge at German top side, Hannover 96, said the contribution of a goalkeeper to the overall success of a team cannot be overemphasised.
He noted that dynamics of the game has reached a stage whereby the goalkeeper is as good as any outfield player, adding it was his prerogative to train the goalkeepers to world standard.
“Education and training at any level is a continuous process,” noted Amadi, a former Montessori teacher.
“I was at Hannover’96 during the break and it was a good opportunity to learn new things which ultimately, I would pass on to our new goalkeepers.”
Meanwhile, Amadi has again stated matter-of-factly that no player has to pay a dime to make the new Golden Eaglets, advising parents and guardians to be wary of unscrupulous elements who might want to take undue advantage of their youngsters.
“Nobody is asking for a Kobo from anybody and the players here can bear us witness that there is no under the table deal,” declared Amadi.
“Once again, we are appealing to parents and guardians to ignore anyone persons asking them to pay before bringing their wards forward for the screening.”