Former Flying Eagles head coach, John Sam Obuh has cautioned the current handlers of the Dream Team VII not to over-rely on foreign-based professionals but rather build a strong team with local league players to ensure good cohesion, AOIFootball.com reports.
Obuh, who spoke exclusively to AOIFootball.com, further urged Coach Imama Amapakabo to keenly look into the current Flying Eagles squad and groom them to fit into his pattern.
“I spoke with the coach already and I told him how he needs to integrate players from the youth team into his squad and also see if he can get one or two quality additions.
“I also told him on the need to prepare a solid team on the ground before trying to get the foreign-based players because if you remember the case of Austin Eguavoen who was disappointed after most of the players pulled out prior to the qualifiers,” Obuh added.
The 2009 U-17 silver winner, however, expressed confidence in the trio of Imama, Boboye, and Ilechukwu to lead the team, stressing that they have what it takes to qualify Nigeria for the AFCON qualifiers proper.
He also added that the miracle of Atlanta 1996 remains a dream and as such the team should be left with the name rather than changing it.
The Dream Team VII will engage Libya in a doubleheader qualifier in March and the winner will qualify for the final round qualifiers in July where the final 7 teams will join host country Egypt to vie for honours at the AFCON U-23 championship slated for November.