Former Super Eagles goalkeeper, Ike Shorunmu
Former Super Eagles Goalkeeper, Ike Shorunmu, believes Nigerian players failed to make the five-man shortlist for the 2015 Glo CAF Awards because of the high level of competition among African players in Europe.
He also feels that the Super Eagles’ failure to qualify for the 2017 African Nations Cup is also a factor that ensured the players were not in the final shortlist for the awards.
According to Shorunmu, until recently, Nigerian players were not making their marks in their various clubs in Europe when players from other African countries played for title winning teams in the best leagues.
He, however, believes that the present crop of Nigerian players comprising Victor Moses, Kelechi Iheanacho, Ahmed Musa and Alex Iwobi, among others, will change the trend, even as early as the 2016 edition if they continued with their sterling performances for club and national team.
Shorunmu charged the Nigerian players listed in the first stanza of the awards to work hard to make the final list next time, saying that qualification for the Russia 2018 World Cup and also doing well at the tournament would put them in good stead to claim the CAF awards title.
He said, “Being out of the final shortlist for the CAF awards does not mean Nigerian players are not good enough. Other African players are hungry to excel…the competition is very high and Nigerian players need to realize that being a champion deserves much creativity and commitment.
“I am happy the present crop of players is ready to make their mark and in the next edition of the awards, we shall see some of them in the top list. All they need to do is to focus on giving their best all the time to club and country.”