Veteran indigenous coach, Kadiri Ikhana has taken an analytical look at the woes facing Rangers international of Enugu in the CAF Confederation Cup, and posited that The Flying Antelopes are suffering due to lack of proper preparations for the continental championship, megasportsarena.com reports.
Ikhana, who won Nigeria’s first feel of the CAF Champions League with Enyimba of Aba in 2003, recounted how The Peoples’ Elephants back then started planning for the continental campaign from the end of the domestic season, while also adding that they ensure they kept the core of their key players, which he noted many clubs find hard to do nowadays.
He reckoned during an interview with Brila FM that the recent inability of Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) clubs to hold onto their regular players beyond one or two years is one of the biggest reasons why they find it difficult to excel in continental campaigns.
The ex-Enyimba of Aba, Kano Pillars, Sharks of Port Harcourt and Gateway United of Abeokuta handler, who was also once in charge of Nigeria’s female national team, Super Falcons, posited that the management of clubs in the NPFL should also provide better motivation for their wards.
Ikhana submitted; “Winning the CAF competitions does not come from one day’s job; it is just something you have to plan for a very long time. That is what we did in 2003 with Enyimba, but many clubs don‘t do that any longer.
“We have to plan well for us to win well, but we also see a situation in which our clubs cannot keep their players from more than a year, which means they will have to recruit new ones for the next competition. That does not provide for continuity.
“Enyimba had the best programme in 2003 when they won the Cup. All those players we had, they were the best-paid players in Nigeria as at that period. So, make sure the welfare package of the players is appreciable. When the player has good welfare package, he‘s going nowhere.”