By: Johnpaul Nnamdi
Former Julius Berger star, Peter Ijeh has made known his aspiration to bring out the best in talented Nigerian footballers.
Ijeh who was the top goal scorer of the then Nigeria Premier League 2000 season disclosed this while answering questions in a football podcast.
He also revealed that has applied for the Nigerian national U17 team coaching job.
Peter moved to Europe in 2001 and had his best moments in Scandinavian countries playing for the likes of Malmö FF and IFK Goteborg in Sweden and also Viking in Norway.
He noted that he wants to invest his knowledge and time in Nigeria because he sees great potential in Nigerian players.
“African is where raw talent and potentials are. If they are groomed properly, they will become top-class players everywhere in the world. I have seen it, I have tested it and I conquered it during my time as a footballer. There are great talents but one has to really work hard to discover them and that is what we are missing” Ijeh said.
He further spoke about his motivating factor and why he is targeting the younger generation. “I started with age-grade football and I know the mentality of grassroots football. Once I get a raw talent and with my educational background, I can bring out the best in them and make them fulfill their dreams. I want to discover the real talent and If we get right with the age-grade category, definitely we will get it right in the U20, U23 and so on”
A graduate of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, Ijeh also acquired a UEFA advanced licensed certificate from Swedish Football Federation (SvFF) and is a technical and tactical football coach.
Ijeh affirms that he will not find it difficult engaging youngsters in Nigeria since his early footballing years were in Nigeria.
“Nigeria has massive talents in all corners of the street. I started from street football; I played from grassroots before becoming a professional. I took all those steps in life so I know a lot about grassroots.
Even if the times have changed, of course, the principle remains the same.
He has had the experience of coaching fourth-tier side Assyriska BK in Sweden and would be relishing bringing his experience to bear in Nigeria.