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I buy players toothpaste, give them money – Siasia on challenges as U-20 coach

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Former Nigerian national team coach Samson Siasia has highlighted the difficulties encountered in nurturing young football talent in Nigeria, with a focus on the Under-20 level.

Siasia served as the head coach of the Under-20 team, guided them to the World Cup final, where they faced Argentina.

He also led the Under-23 team to the Olympics, reaching the final of the tournament against Argentina once again.

In an interview on the ATHLST podcast, Siasia revealed the level of personal investment he puts into the development and welfare of these players, underscoring the challenges inherent in fostering young talent in Nigerian football.

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Siasia said, “We were in hell I tell you right from in Nigeria, trust me. The easiest team to coach is the Super Eagles because they will give you everything that you need. But Under 20, even Under 16 is the worst, you don’t see food.”

The former Super Eagles coach elaborated on his commitment to supporting the players, revealing that he often spends his own money to address their needs.

Read Also: Student Loan Scheme: Include private universities’ students – Obasanjo

Siasia disclosed that he personally covers expenses for essentials such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, and sometimes even provides financial assistance for their travel expenses.

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He said, “That’s the advantage I have against all the other people that have qualified for the Olympics. How many of them have qualified Olympics two times?

“So these are the areas I’m special the way it comes to taking care of the players. I spend my own money to make sure these boys are ok.”

“I buy them toothpaste, brush or we travel out, give them $100 from my own pocket. Do you think they are there for Nigeria? No, they are playing for me.”

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