Coach Azeez Muhammed urges Nigerian players to return to NPFL before retiring

Coach Azeez Muhammed

Head Coach of Alhilal Alfashir of Sudan, Azeez Muhammed has urged Nigerian players playing abroad to always think of returning to the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL before hanging their boots.

In an online chat with journalists, Coach Azeez compared the situation with Brazilian players who always returned to their native Brazil before the end of their playing days.

He further stated that such a move will help boost the NPFL and expose the league to the world.

“The management and organisers should make the league attractive so that when our players’ sign contract in other countries and they are not comfortable playing there, can easily return to the NPFL.

“Brazilian players will play to the highest level in club football, but when they want to retire, they will go back to the Brazilian league and play one or two seasons before they finally retire from football.

“The coaches and players should be patient to improve the technical aspect of the league. Most of our players when they are out of contracts in other leagues, they cannot come back here because they feel the league is below standard, but when the league is up to standard, the coaches and players working hard, our players will be happy to return home and give fans one or two seasons before hanging their boots.”

The 43-year old also believes the NPFL is better than many leagues in Africa while calling on the League Management Company, LMC, for better organization which he said is lacking.

“Not every league in Africa is better than the NPFL in terms of facilities, some leagues are below the standard in Nigeria, but Nigerian players are very technical. Football players have a very limited career that is why many players if they cannot get opportunities in the country, move elsewhere even to some countries with inferior leagues.

“I have seen lots of improvement in the NPFL this season, teams picking points away from home, but here in Sudan, any team can win anywhere, if the home team is not well prepared, you’ll be beaten.

“I will still maintain that Nigerian players are technically better than Sudanese players, the major problem I am seeing is the organisation which is what the Sudanese league and some other leagues have done better than the NPFL.”

“Nigerian players passed through a lot, playing in amateur leagues and academies before they make it to the top flight, but here in Sudan, there is no such thing, they (management) make sure that there are good organisation and administration in the top flight, by ensuring the league is being played at least above average,” Coach Azeez Muhammed said.


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