Austin Ejide wants a Super Eagles recall
- Ejide says he can be Nigeria’s Essam El-Hadary
- The Veteran goalkeeper posits that the uncertainty surrounding Nigeria’s goalkeeping department could pave the way for him
Six years after he was last call to the Super Eagles team, Austin Ejide believes he has all it takes to stage a return to the team.
The Super Eagles have had to face a dilemma in the goalkeeping department since the abrupt international retirement of Vincent Enyeam in 2015 and the acute leukaemia which forced his replacement Carl Ikeme out of football.
Current No.1 Francis Uzoho is out for a long period with a knee injury.
With the uncertainty around Daniel Akpeyi, who’s deputising for Uzoho and the lack of trust in both Maduka Okoye and Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Ejide said he was aware of the situation and would fancy a return.
Ejide, who plies his trade with Israeli side Hapoel Hadera told BBC Sports: “I know the situation in Nigeria. I get positive remarks in Israel and being rated highly could be something that will pave the way,”
“I’ve kept nine clean sheets this season and we all know that goalkeepers always get better with age.
“I’ve also been following the Eagles and I believe that with my consistent performances in Israel, there is every chance it opens the door to the possibilities of another call-up.
“I can never shut the international door to play for Nigeria again, I believe I have what it takes to get another chance.”
Now 35 years of age, the former SC Bastia of France goalkeeper was adamant – stating he would never give up hopes of a return at his age.
He said further, “There are other goalkeepers who never gave up on international football despite their age or being overlooked
“At 46, Essam El-Hadary still played a major tournament for Egypt and I can hopefully follow in that footsteps.
“I keep focusing on club football here, the more I do well, then I will continue to retain that hope of playing for my country again.”
Ejide made his Nigeria debut against Namibia in Windhoek in 2001 and racked up 33 more – as he featured largely as a second choice to Vincent Enyeama.
He was part of the Nigeria squad to the Africa Cup of Nations tournaments in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and when they won in the championship in 2013.
Ejide was also a member of the team that represented Nigeria at the 2013 Confederations Cup, 2002, 2010 and 2014 World Cups.
Olatosimi Fadahunsi279 Posts
Olatosimi is a part-time non-professional footballer and a football writer with spotkick. His ideology/mind/eyes endlessly rove multidimensionally.