No belief in home-based professionals, Afelokhai laments
I need to move abroad to improve my chances in the Super Eagles – Theophilus Afelokhai.
The Enyimba goalkeeper bemoans the lack of opportunities being given to the Nigeria Professional Football League players in the national team set up.
Since Gernot Rohr took reign as the Super Eagles’ manager in 2016, only a few NPFL players have been called up to the national team, bar Katsina United goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa, who is a regular invitee.
Theophilus Afelokhai moans over such dispensation and hopes a move abroad will bolster his chances of being given an equal chance in the national team.
The shot-stooper, as quoted by football liveng, “I just pray to God to give me a better club out of this country for me to move on my career because they believe more in the professionals outside there.
“And it’s not by only call-up, when you call me, give me the chance to prove myself. I want to play, I want to contribute to my country.”
Afelokhai has been one of the most consistent goalkeepers in the NPFL – and his consistency has always made him be on the books of the big teams – was previously with Kano Pillars, and now Enyimba.
Although the 31-year-old has earned himself a couple of call-ups to the Eagles’ squad, none of those was he ever called upon to be behind the sticks.
Full of praise for being called up, he, however, added that he craved more than just a call-up.
“I thank the national team coaches for the few times they have called me, but I desire the chance to play beyond the call ups,” he added.
Rohr has often been criticised for his disbelief in the NPFL players – last year the coach stated in an interview the coach stated a reason for shunning the league players was when given chances they (NPFL players) instantaneously disappear into other foreign leagues.
In a spotkick exclusive with FC Ifeanyi Ubah defender Charles Okafor last year, the defender played down Rohr’s position, as he posited that a chance for NPFL players would make the foreign pros to buckle up.
“I believe giving the home-based players more slots in the team will make Eagles more competitive.
“It’ll spur the foreign-based to step up and not feel indispensable because they have talented guys threatening to take their places,” Okafor said.
Olatosimi Fadahunsi278 Posts
Olatosimi is a part-time non-professional footballer and a football writer with spotkick. His ideology/mind/eyes endlessly rove multidimensionally.