Close on two weeks after Sunday’s Oliseh’s assumption of office as head coach of the Nigeria national soccer team, stakeholders have not ceased to set agenda for the ex-international, with the latest coming from his former international teammate, Peter Rufai. Not surprisingly, Rufai’s charge borders on his department – goalkeeping.
The former Super Eagles captain and goalkeeper says it is imperative that one of Oliseh’s first undertakings as Nigeria’s coach is to start in earnest the search for a successor to Super Eagles current captain and long term goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama.
Lille of France shot stopper, Enyeama, it will be recalled, had given hints of his plan to retire from international football moments after earning his 100th cap for Nigeria in a friendly match against Uganda in March 2015. He said that national team selectors must start looking for a suitable replacement.
“I tell you the truth, will love to stay as long as possible but at some point you need to let it go. You need to let others take over,” said the 32-year-old. “I really wish I can go on forever but I can’t, so Nigeria should start grooming someone to take over from me, and that is what I wish.
“But for now I don’t know how long I can go, so there has to be someone to take over.” Rufai, unarguably of the Nigeria’s best goalkeepers ever, says Oliseh must find a capable replacement for Enyeama before the 2017 African Cup of Nations in Gabon, after which Enyeama planned to call it quits on his international career.
one of the tasks before Oliseh will be to find a very capable “I think one of the tasks before him will be to find a replacement for Vincent Enyeama,” Rufai said.
“But Enyeama is still around and we don’t have to panic. “But it is definitely one of the things the coach will have to look at because we need to have someone capable when he (Enyeama) is gone and that is why I think it is one of the things the coach will have to do.”
Prodded on the goalkeeper he thinks would be a capable replacement for Enyeama, Rufai said he will be in support of whichever goalkeeper the Super Eagles coaching crew feels is the right one. “I believe the coaches know what they are doing and I’m sure they must be looking at other options. So, whichever goalkeeper they choose eventually will be good I believe,” he said.