FOOTBALL ACTION FROM THE LOCAL LEAGUE
Nigeria Premier League trio of Bassey Akpan, ThankGod Ike and Ejike Uzoenyi are desperate to convince the new Super Eagles technical adviser, Lars Lagerback about their World Cup potentials when they file out against the Democratic Republic of Congo in Wednesday's international friendly in Abuja.
No single player from the domestic league made it to the Eagles' final pre- Angola Nations Cup camp in Durban, South Africa as Coach Shuaibu Amodu claimed there was no time for him to assess them before the continental competition.
World Cup chance
Incidentally, Amodu who was axed from taking the national team to the World Cup after they failed to impress in the tournament will be in-charge of the Eagles B squad that will be on parade against Congo.
But the spotlight will shift towards the direction of the new head coach, Lagerback who is having a good opportunity to identify some players as he looks to lead the Eagles to a good outing in South Africa.
With that in mind, some of the players invited from the domestic league fancy their chances of impressing the Sweden-born coach who had already hinted that Nigeria's best players were not on parade in Angola.
Goalkeeper Akpan believes the likes of Vincent Enyeama, Austin Ejide and Dele Aiyenugba have enjoyed the attention of the national coaches only because they play professional football outside the shores of the country and not necessarily based on performance. The Bayelsa United man is hoping to prove his mettle in the friendly against Congo.
'For me, I see it as an opportunity to break into the main team and I am looking forward to doing my best once I am been given a chance in the match', says the former Golden Eaglets goalie in an interview with NEXTSports.
Europe versus home based
'The goalkeepers currently in the Super Eagles are not better than me. They only had better opportunity to play in Europe, if given the same opportunity, I can do as much even if not better. Going to the World Cup is not impossible, we just have to wait and see how things unfold with the new coach.
Enugu Rangers left-winger, Ejike Uzoenyi is also excited about the prospect of playing in the presence of our new coach, particularly with the Eagles, having failed to fill the left side of the midfield with a capable replacement since the departure of Emmanuel Amuneke, who was the last notable figure to have played in that position.
' Every player wants to play for the national team and it is even special when you have the opportunity of doing it at the World Cup stage.
If I get the chance to play against Congo, I will try play my game and it will be left for the new boss to decide.
'But I am confident in myself and I believe I have what it takes to be in the national team to the World Cup', said the diminutive Uzoenyi.
Heartland defender ThankGod insists there are potential World Cup talents in the domestic league.
'Everything is all about chances, if you give those of us playing in the league a chance, we will prove ourselves. Football is all about confidence, nobody get this overnight you build on it by playing friendly matches with countries that have experienced players in the team.Chinedu Ogbuke set to impress coach Lar lagerback.