Why Westerhof wants super Eagles job back
He has called me more than 100 times, says NFF official
Despite his age, former Super Eagles’ technical adviser, Dutchman Clemens Westerhof, feels he is the right man to manage the team if the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is serious in its intention to hire a new foreign coach.
When the NFF parted ways with former coach, Stephen Keshi, and brought in former midfielder, Sunday Oliseh, Westerhof did not hide his feelings. He was always in the news sounding it loud and clear that Oliseh did not possess adequate experience to lead the Super Eagles.
With the Eagles out of the 2017 African Nations Cup following the defeat to Egypt last week, Westerhof feels the atmosphere is ripe for him to stage a comeback.
At a forum in Lagos last week, where the issue of hiring a new foreign coach for the Super Eagles was raised, an official of the NFF hinted that Westerhof had signaled his intention to return to the job.
“Westerhof has been calling me. I am sure he read it online that we want to hire a new foreign coach for the Super Eagles. He has called me more than 100 times,” the official told The Guardian.
Westerhof led the Super Eagles to break their jinx of not playing in the World Cup by qualifying them for their maiden appearance at the USA ‘94 edition of the competition, after leading the team to win the African Nations Cup in Tunisia.
In a recent interview, Westerhof had declared that what the Super Eagles needed after the sack of Stephen Keshi was a foreign coach, a Technical Adviser who will work with a Nigerian coach.
He said: “A coach from Holland or any big European country but not Germany with likes of Berti Vogts, who will spend one week in Nigeria and spend the rest of the year in their native countries. When I was in Nigeria, I discovered Daniel Amokachi in Enugu when Ranchers Bees played a league game with Rangers.
“I walked up to their bus and told him he will be in my (Super Eagles) team, he said which team and I told him right there in the presence of other players, I’m the national team manager but he said he was just 16 years old and I said it didn’t matter.
“Finidi George is a great player, I also was at the stadium when he played for his club and I called him to camp. There were many players like that I brought to Super Eagles camp. So whoever the foreign technical adviser will be, he must be ready to see many of the domestic league games and see how the players are doing and how they play. You don’t stay away from the games and players and hope to have a strong Super Eagles team, no, it can’t happen,” Westerhof stated.
Before he took over the Super Eagles job in 1989, Westerhof, who was born in May 1940, was head coach of Feyenord of Amsterdam. He also coached other teams in the first division, including Vitese and MVV. He had also worked in various football positions on the African continent since 1989.