Former Super Eagles goalkeeper, Ike Shorunmu believes Enyimba’s Theophilus Afelokhai deserves to be in the national team. He says the former Kano Pillars goalkeeper has done enough to warrant invitation to the team, which has his teammate, Ikechukwu Ezenwa as one of the goalkeepers.
Afelokhai has been a revelation in the ongoing CAF Confederation Cup, a competition in which he has seized Enyimba’s number one jersey ahead of Ezenwa and Ghana’s number two goalkeeper, Fatau Daudu. And Shorunmu believes it is only just to give the goalkeeper a chance to contest the position in the senior national team.
Shorunmu also advises Rohr to open the camp to any Nigerian, who shows signs of bringing quality competition to the Super Eagles, adding that ability should be the only criteria in choosing players for the team. He is particularly interested in seeing some of the outstanding players in the local scene pitting their skills against their overseas-based counterparts.
“The Super Eagles coaches need to pay attention to home-based players because there are so many fantastic players here. “They should create a healthy competition in the camp that would bring out the best in the players. The idea of shutting out the local players is not good for our football development,” he added.
He adds that Nigeria has been blessed with good goalkeepers over the years, adding that the home-based stars only need encouragement to build their confidence and excel for the Super Eagles.
“They need to play in international games to gain exposure and learn more about match situations.“Rohr should invite Afelokhai and any other keeper that is doing well in the domestic league to the Super Eagles. I am not in the place to tell the Eagles coach what to do, but I think Afelokhai has been doing well in the CAF Confederation Cup and deserves the national team call up.
“The Eagles coaches don’t have to keep searching for keepers outside the country because Nigeria has been blessed with quality keepers over the years. The best keepers should be invited and given equal opportunity to prove themselves,” he said.