Former Super Eagles goalkeeper Dele Aiyenugba has urged fellow ex-internationals to emulate him and return to the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), which is ‘improving’ after spending the best years of their careers abroad.
Aiyenugba, a key member of the glorious and history-making Enyimba squad that won Nigeria her first-ever CAF Champions League titles in 2003 and 2004, rejoined his former side Kwara United in the off season after spending 14 years with four different clubs in Israel.
According to the 37-year-old former Bnei Yehuda shot stopper, such moves will increase the level of professionalism in the NPFL.
“The thing is that, I want to advise that Nigerian league is improving, it is improved and they (ex-internationals) should journey to come back and bring that experience back,” he advised.
“Their professionalism is very important, and I think if many other players come (return to the NPFL), it will help the young ones coming up.”
Aiyenugba was in goal against his former club Enyimba as his present side Kwara United beat the 8-time NPFL champions 1-0 in a rescheduled Match Day 2 encounter in Ilorin on Wednesday.
On his return to the NPFL after being away for 14 years, Aiyenugba, who had 17 caps for the Super Eagles from 2005 to 2015, said he noticed a lot of improvement in the officiating, while calling on the League Management Company to do more on television coverage.
“Yeah, it is improving,” he noted. “The most important thing is the referees. All the games I’ve played (this season), I’ve seen a lot of improvement, seriously.
“Kudos to the referees and the NFF. They are doing a great job. They just need to do more on TV stuff. I think this is what we need.”
In his six-year spell at Enyimba, Aiyenugba cemented his legendary status, winning 2 CAF Champions League titles, 2 CAF Super Cups, four league titles, 1 FA Cup crown and a Charity Cup.
His penalty save in the shootout of the 2004 CAF Champions League final ensured Enyimba won Tunisian giants Etoile du Sahel 5-3 to lift the title for a second consecutive year.