Ahead Rwanda Clash: Home Eagles Battle Pros For Shirts


Home Eagles have vowed to wrestle for shirts with the foreign-based professionals in Stephen Keshi’s team ahead of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Rwanda on 29 February.

One of the local players, Papa Idris, who spoke with P.M.Sports in Abuja, boasted that he and his colleagues would no longer play second fiddle in the senior national team.

According to the defender, the local players are in high sprits as they expect the arrival of the foreign-based players. He added that the knowledge which the Keshi-led technical crew has imparted into them has raised their confidence level to dare the invited professionals for shirts.

“We are very grateful to Coach Keshi for giving us the opportunity to learn a lot from his knowledge of the game. He has changed our mentality as home-based players and I can tell Nigerians that our victory against Liberia in Monrovia has given us confidence that when the foreign-based players arrive camp for the Rwanda clash, we are sure of making the Nigerian team,” Idris said.

The Kano Pillars’ defender added that the success achieved by the Home Eagles in the last two friendly games has given the players a winning mentality, something that has been lacking in their games whenever they were invited to the national camp in the past.

“We are happy with our result against Liberia. In our first friendly game against Angola, we were not happy that it ended goalless, but we were surprised that Nigerians appreciated our performance against Angola.

Related News

“This encouraged us in our game against Liberia and we followed the instructions of Coach Keshi despite the poor officiating against us in the game. We now have a winning mentality because the coach has worked on us in every area of the game,” he said.

Meanwhile, former Nigerian international, Mutiu Adepoju, has warned Keshi to be careful with the way he approaches the Rwanda match to avoid his team giving Nigerians another nightmare.

He warned Keshi to expect a tough match in Kigali, urging him to prepare his players well ahead of the match.

“I’m aware we are rebuilding a team after Eagles’ failure to qualify for the last Nations Cup. Truly, the local players did well in their last match against Liberia in Monrovia, but they need to do more if they want to cement their place in the team.

“Keshi must be careful with the Wasps of Rwanda because the match will be tougher than the one they played against Liberia. He should remember that there are no minnows in football again, so the Eagles must be on their toes for them to come out with victory in the match,” Adepoju said.

—Francis Achi/Abuja & Bamidele Olowosagba

Load more