Nigeria’s inability to qualify for the on-going African Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea has provided an avenue for Nigeria to start rebuilding for the future with the 2013 African Cup of Nations in South Africa in mind as well as the 2014 World Cup to be hosted by Brazil. I hereby run the rule on emerging talents that I feel can be part of Nigeria’s plans as we aim to put our football back on the global stage
|Keeping guard on Benfica forward Nolito|
OGU JOHN UGOCHUKWU
John Ogu Ugochukwu represents a new breed of emerging talents that hopes to put Nigeria back into reckoning, a left footed wonder who can adapt across the midfield and also play as left back is the type of player that the Super Eagles need. John started his career in the Ijeshatodo area of Lagos State, Nigeria where he played youth football at Starlet FC, his talent didn’t go unnoticed as former Sharks and Salamanca player Marshall Mbre scouted him and arranged for him to have trials at NK Drava Ptuj, he didn’t stay long there due to the club going into administration, he later moved to Spain, where he teamed up with Almeria but development was cut short due to administrative issues, he elected to go to Portugal to train with Club Athletico du Portugal where he sustained a meniscus injury
“That was the most painful painful period of my career” he told me “just when all the pieces were coming together and was hoping for a breakthrough, the injury clogged my progress”.
|Debut against Benfica|
Uniao Lleira were impressed with the 23 year old and signed him on for the current campaign; he has recovered from his injury problems and made his debut against Portuguese giants Benfica at left back. John is comfortable as a holding midfielder, but can also be a box to box midfielder.
He has so far played three games with a goal to the good. His versatility has made him a mainstay in the team and as he continues to make progress, I hope he can develop into an asset for the Super Eagles, the bigger the pool, the merrier.