By James Agberebi :
Ikorodu United coach, Benson Edema has been sounding upbeat about the Glo Premier League newcomers' chances of making good impact in the top flight division, expressing firm confidence they can do in the Nigerian League what a modest Leicester City are presently doing in the Barclay's Premier League in England.
"Well, a lot of people would be wondering how are we going to cope in the elite division especially where you have the Enyimbas, the kano pillars, Rangers and other big teams,"begins Edema during an exclusive chat with Completesportsnigeria.com.
He asserts confidently: "But we are all witnesses to what Leicester City are doing in the English Premier League. Who says we cannot do the same thing in our first season in the top flight?"
Meanwhile, Edema wants Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh to devote more time to watch the Nigerian league matches and spot the right talented players for the national team.
The home-based Eagles, led by Oliseh, crashed out in the first round of the on-going Africa Nations Championship in Rwanda.
"As a national team coach, you should have the time to watch the local league. If all good players are coming from just one state, then they should all play.
"When I was playing, I knew how good I was. I played for the country on merit. So our coach need to watch these players play on a regular basis. If he cannot go, he should send his assistants," Edema tells Completesportsnigeria.com.
Ahead of the 2017 AFCON qualifier against Egypt, Benson predicts a very difficult match, but insists that with encouragement and self belief, the home-based players can do it.
"It's not going to be easy against Egypt. They've commenced preparation ahead of the game. And like I said, the coach need to start watching the local league because I believe we have players who can deliver.
"When Keshi won the Nations Cup, the player that scored the winning goal in the final (Sunday Mba), was a local-based player.
"Oliseh is a hard-working coach, but he still has to do more. He can go round the league venues, not only the Premier League. He can also checkout the Nigeria National League for good players."