In other to provide a benchmark for Nigeria football, the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF came up with the Future Eagles plan that will ensure that players are adequately drafted into the Golden Eaglet and by extension the Super Eagles.
However, questions have been raised in various quarters as regard the structure of the Future Eagles.
Future Eagles media officer, Adepoju Tobi Samuel has given an insight into the NFF vision for the U13, U15 and U16 teams.
Here is an excerpt:
Since my appointment was made public as the Media Officer of the team, I have got reasons to educate those asking questions about the structure of the team in a private conversation, but I have decided to make it public and reach out to bigger audience.
Unfortunately, some section of people have accused the coaches of making the team an ‘Exclusive’ National team without understanding the NFF vision for the team. For this reason, I will share my background knowledge of the Future Eagles team, we need to understand the structure of the team.
The project is sponsored by Zenith Bank. There’s Future Eagles U13 and U15 tournaments which all States through Zonal and National formats do participate every year. From the programs/tournaments every year, players discovered at the end of the year will move into the National Team (Future Eagles), not all but a huge numbers.
Also, NPFL U15 Promises is the second platform to discover players for the technical crew of Future Eagles.
NFF and LMC have got details of the players that participated in the respective tournaments, this process has been helpful because it’s now easy for the NFF/LMC to build the Database of our players coming through the Youth ranks.
The Future Eagles are not meant to do any open trials compare to what we have at the U17 level and maybe U20 level. Players from Zenith/NFF Future Eagles and NPFL U15 Promises are meant to progress to the National Team (Future Eagles) and after some months of development they are scheduled to move into the National U17 level.
Future Eagles is not an ‘Exclusive’ National Team but there are process of building the team which I have highlighted with Zenith/NFF U13 & U15 tournaments and NPFL U15 Promises.
However, the coaches are free to use their discretion and if they scouted good players outside these programs, the coaches are free to invite the players for any Future Eagles matches/tournaments (Which are usually few annually).
These players who didn’t participate in Zenith/NFF Future Eagles tournaments and NPFL U15 Promises must have accessible history from their Schools/Academy, this was the reason why Omidiji and few other guys were part of the U15 Team that participated in the Youth Games in Algeria last year.
The tournament in Japan next month is an Invitational tournament, the coaches have got large poll of boys they have been working with for months. The NFF have also ensure players from the Future Eagles must progress to the U17 team, this process will help to accommodate new discovery at the State and National levels of Zenith/NFF U13 & U15 tournaments and NPFL U15 Promises.
Guys, let’s stay calm and support this project that will help us eradicate age cheats and also help us to have history of our players from their humble beginnings documented.
The Future Eagles are presently camped in Sagamu, Ogun State ahead of an invitational tournament in Japan.