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Former Players Rally Behind Finidi’s Appointment as Eagles Coach

Finidi George
Finidi George

Former Super Eagles players have come forward to offer their commendations to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for its decision to appoint George Finidi as the new coach of the men’s senior national team. The announcement of Finidi’s appointment came on Monday, following the endorsement of the NFF board, which approved the recommendation put forth by its Technical and Development Committee. This decision marks a significant transition for the Super Eagles, as Finidi steps into the role previously held by Jose Peseiro, who voluntarily resigned after guiding the team to a second-place finish at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.

While the NFF did not disclose specific details regarding Finidi’s contract or the composition of his coaching staff, former Eagles winger Tijani Babangida expressed his delight at Finidi’s appointment. Babangida highlighted Finidi’s familiarity with the team as a key asset, noting that Finidi had previously served as an assistant to Peseiro for 20 months. Additionally, Finidi had assumed the role of interim coach during two friendly matches in Morocco the previous month, further solidifying his connection with the team.

Babangida emphasized the importance of supporting Finidi in his new role, stating, “Finidi is a solid choice for the Eagles, and I think he needs our support now.” He expressed confidence in Finidi’s ability to meet the expectations set for him, given his understanding of the team dynamics acquired over his tenure with the squad.

Sam Sodje, a former Nigeria and Reading defender, echoed Babangida’s sentiments, lauding the NFF for appointing an indigenous coach to succeed Peseiro. Sodje emphasized the need for collective support for Finidi, stating, The appointment has been made, and regardless of whether it’s deemed good or bad, we must rally behind Finidi to ensure his success. With upcoming World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Benin Republic in June, Sodje stressed the importance of offering unwavering support to Finidi as he takes on this new challenge.

Ayo Makinwa, another former Eagles striker, expressed confidence in Finidi’s appointment, citing his distinguished playing career as evidence of his potential as a coach. Makinwa reminisced about Finidi’s pivotal goal that secured Nigeria’s qualification for their first-ever FIFA World Cup in the USA, underscoring his belief in Finidi’s ability to translate his on-field prowess into coaching success. Despite any historical reservations, Makinwa remained optimistic about Finidi’s prospects as the new Eagles coach.

Efe Ambrose, a 2013 AFCON winner and current defender for Queen of the South, concurred with the sentiment that Finidi’s appointment was appropriate, emphasizing the need to grant him autonomy to work effectively with the team. Ambrose stated, “He is indeed a suitable choice, and I am optimistic about his capabilities,” highlighting the potential for an indigenous coach to foster stronger team cohesion and performance.

Overall, the former Super Eagles players united in their support for Finidi, acknowledging the significance of his appointment and advocating for the collective backing needed to ensure his success in guiding the team forward.

Finidi George

Finidi George

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