NPFL players deserve Super Eagles chance, says Lawal

Fidelis Ilechukwu’s men continue their pursuit of Plateau United in the NPFL title race at the Agege Stadium on Wednesday

Former Nigeria international Garba Lawal believes the Nigeria Professional Football League boasts of quality players capable of challenging for a place in the country’s senior national team.

The Super Eagles will face Senegal in a friendly on March 23 and the 42-year-old has urged Gernot Rohr to offer more home-based players a chance in coming international matches.

He insists coach Rohr needs to make good use of the abundant talents in the country's domestic league.

"The Nigeria Professional Football League is fantastic. We all came from the local league - I started from the amateur league to the National league.

"In three years, we've established ourselves. From Kaduna, I was taken to Lagos where two to three seasons played with Julius Berger.

"I've watched the NPFL very well and I think there are good players here. The chairman Shehu Dikko and CEO Nduka Irabor are doing a great job with the league. It is improving a lot.''

According to him, the German tactician should discourage the over-reliance on foreign based players at the expense of the home based pros. 

"Whenever he [Rohr] sees a player born in Europe, he always wants to go and bring him,'' he continued.

''I think he needs to keep monitoring him gradually before he decides to bring him.

"That's if they want to play, then if they do not want to play for Nigeria - there is nothing he can do.

"He should concentrate on getting some players from the local league and I believe he can get some talents that can fit into his style of game. I believe with that, the sky is going to be the limit.”

Nigeria will face South Africa in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on August 12 before locking horns with African champions, Cameroon in the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifiers.