Richard Jideaka, Abuja:
Former Nigeria international defender Daniel Shittu has expressed confidence that the future of the Super Eagles is bright and that the 2013 AFCON winners in South Africa will dominate the continent soon.
England-based Shittu who called it quits with the game last season told Completesportnigeria.com that his optimism stems from the array of young Nigerian talents making waves in some European leagues mixed with the experience of the senior players.
Shittu who is in the country to feature in former Super Eagles captain Joseph Yobo's testimonial game on Friday in Port Harcourt also expressed sadness at that the Eagles have missed out in two consecutive AFCONs, adding that it does not speak well for Nigerian football and the development of the youngsters.
"With the likes of Iwobi, Iheanacho, Isaac Success, Nwakali, Awoniyi and a host of other young players coming up, the Super Eagles will rise again to dominate Africa," Shittu to Completesportsnigeria.com.
"I am confident the boys will soon grow to men and bring back joy to Nigerians. It means the older players will have to work extra hard to allow the young players blossom
"I don't care who coaches the team, whether foreign or local coach, whoever manages the Super Eagles must be focused and be very hardworking with good relationship with his players. I played under foreign and home-based coaches and I must tell you that they were all good. We just have to pick the best whether from home or abroad."
On the high point of his career, Shittu who partnered Yobo in the Super Eagles defence, said it has to be playing at the World Cup in 2010 in South Africa, stressing that his profile rose in England after the World Cup as he was accorded the respect of a World Cup player anywhere he went in the United Kingdom.