By; PAMELA EBOH, Awka
Two European football scouts currently plying their trade in Nanka, Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State have described Nigeria as a country filled with budding talents but with bad pitches to train.
The duo, Janackovic Darko, a French Coach and football scout and Spanish born Jaimme Ferrero, an Athletico Madrid football scout said they were impressed with the level of play so far played in Nanka Super 10 tournament, especially the match between Vemard Africa FC and Right 2 Win on Friday.
The six-day scouting process which kicked off on Thursday at NEROS stadium in Nanka is featuring players from eight different clubs consisting of football academy and those in National League One, (NN0)
Speaking with journalists after the day’s fixtures, Dario hailed the organiser of the “Super 10′ tournament, chairman of Vemard Africa FC, Chidi Okonkwo for creating a window of opportunity for the players to showcase their talent.
He said that as the tournament progresses, the strengths and weaknesses of the players would be exposed.
According to him, certain criteria, like a player’s speed, swiftness, what he does while with the ball and when not with the ball are the ball are the qualities they look out for in selecting players to be scouted to Europe.
The French scout said, “What a player does in the pitch is very important, like does he hold on to the ball, what he does wirh or without the ball, does he wait for the the ball to come to him, how fast does he move and defence.
“The selection is done based on what the club’s want, at the moment, they are looking for strong central defenders; middle field defence and strikers.
“Their level of play now, I cannot compare with that of Europe, that’s the problem, but a couple of them have capacity to play in this beautiful game because its not easy to play in this pitch and in this condition but with time, when they are exposed to good training for six months, you can find players who can professional players in ther future.
“The first game was a bit easy because they were lower teams but the last one was more aggressive with a lot of yellow cards because they were bigger teams.They played like it was a world cup, which is good.
“In France and .Europe, I was told Nigeria has very good players but they tend not to be easily discovered because its a country with many people, so through the connection of the big boss, Okonkwo, I am here.”
He reeled out other African countries he has gone to scout for players to include, Madagascar, Ghana with Cameeoun as the next.
According to him, Afican countries have different qualities saying that while Nigeria players are strong and fast, Ivory Coast is more technical.
On the number of players so far selected, he said, “That can only be revealed later not now. There are a lot to good players but the selected ones need to go to France to train with professional coaches, train in European time, we train in the mornings, sleep early and wake up early.
“You know, for an African that is born in Europe, not only Nigeria, they learn to move fast early, like Pogba, Mpape. They are not French but they were in the system early enough.They trained well and they became best in Europe.
On his part, Jaimme Ferrero, a Spanish scout from Atletico Madrid said that his focus is on the personality of the player, ability to maintain good balance with the ball in motion while his defensive quality centres on aggressiveness of the defender.
He said “When i see the player, my focus is on the personality of the player, his speed, dribbling skills, speed with the foot and the ball, understanding between a player and his colleagues; this is important for offensive players and for defensive players, aggressiveness”.
The day two of the Nanka Super 10 tournament featured four football matches between Udala and Aspire with Udala taking away the win with three goals, Vermard 2, WFA 1, Dynamic 0, Ozalla 1 and Vermard 0, Right2Win 1
The tournament is expected to end on Tuesday with matches between first group A against second Group B and first group B vs Group A.