Sofoluwe counsels home-based Eagles as team depart to Accra
• Ezenwa leads 18-man squad to tourney
Former Super Eagles star, Yisa Sofuluwe has advised the home-based players billed to represent the country in the West Africa Football Union (WAFU) Championship to use the competition to play their way into the full national team.
The WAFU Championship, meant for only players in their local leagues, is scheduled to kick off on Saturday.
Noting that the championship came at a time when the team have already qualified for the 2018 CHAN in Kenya, Sofoluwe said the WAFU Cup would also afford the coaches the opportunity to blend the squad for next year’s tourney, as well as discover more players that would be invited to jostle for shirts in the Super Eagles.
He said the domestic players needed to participate in the WAFU tournament to get the exposure their career required, adding that players whose clubs have not played continental games would have the chance of testing their skills against other teams.
Sofuluwe urged the players picked for the WAFU championship to work hard to excel in Ghana, saying that outshining other teams in West Africa would go a long way to prove that the Nigerian league have quality players.
He also advised the Eagles’ coaches to use the WAFU championship to expose more domestic goalkeepers.
“The players invited for the WAFU championship should understand that playing in WAFU is another opportunity for them to prove themselves and have the chance of getting future Eagles call up. With the standard of football in Africa, I believe the WAFU team would not have an easy ride over any team in Ghana.
“The players have to be psychologically and mentally prepared to excel in the tourney. Victory in WAFU would help to raise the standard of the Nigerian league,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Super Eagles Media Officer, Toyin Ibitoye has revealed that the 18-man squad for the WAFU campaign would depart to Ghana today, noting that NFF has promised to give the players the needed backing.
Meanwhile, head coach of the home-based Super Eagles, Salisu Yusuf has selected goalkeepers Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Dele Ajiboye, and 16 other players for competition, which kicks off on Saturday and ends on September 24.
Among the players are midfielder Rabiu Ali and forward Kingsley Eduwo, who both scored as the Eagles prevailed 2-0 over Benin Republic in Kano to qualify for next year’s African Nations Championship. Others are defenders Eze Stephen, Chima Akas, Osas Okoro and Emmanuel Ariwachukwu, and midfielders Ifeanyi Ifeanyi, Samuel Mathias and Afeez Aremu.