Coach promises open-door policy, rates Okocha best player of his era
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) will unveil its new technical director, Austin Eguavoen, in Benin shortly before the Super Eagles African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Leone Stars of Sierra Leone.
The former Super Eagles captain and coach told The Guardian that he has been in discussions with the NFF on his job schedule, adding that he would assume duties after his presentation to Nigerian football family in Benin.
The Edo-born coach said he was ready to work with progressive minded patriots to lift the country’s football, adding that he would entertain advise and proposals from people interested in the country’s football development.
The former captain of the defunct ACB Football Club said improving the structure of football across the federation requires inputs from positive minds focused on ensuring that Nigeria’s football regains its lost glory.
Promising to build a cordial working relationship with coaches of all the national teams without interference in their duties, Eguavoen enjoined Nigerians to keep supporting the nation’s football development.
“I have been discussing with the NFF on the way forward since my announcement as the NFF technical director and our talks have been positive.
“My role as the technical director is to discover talents from the grassroots, urban regions and focus on how talented NPFL players can be turned into national team stars.
“Holding seminars and interacting with national team coaches without interfering in their jobs would be part of my duties. “One thing I want to emphasise is that I applied for the technical director’s job and got it by merit.
“My decision to turn down the Mali job and work to improve Nigeria’s football is based on my patriotic zeal to serve my fatherland.
“The members of the committee that will work with me are professionals and I am comfortable working with them.
Notwithstanding this fact, my target is to also have an open door policy where every stakeholder in football is free to bring quality ideas that will improve the standard of Nigeria’s football,” he said.
Reminiscing on his days as a player for the national team, Eguavoen picked Augustine Okocha as the best Super Eagles player he played with.
He added: “All the players that were with me in the Super Eagles were great players. But one outstanding player that I will not forget is Okocha.
“In fact, Okocha’s dribbling skills brought out the best in me as a defender. Whenever we are in training during international duty, I and Taribo West always liked confronting him when he is with the ball… whenever you get Okocha’s tricks on a particular move, he will come up with another skill to displace you as a defender.
“Playing with Okocha helped to improve my skills playing for the national team as well as my clubs.”