It was inconceivable just a year ago that any player from domestic league would be deemed good enough for the Super Eagles but in one fell swoop, Coach Stephen Keshi named six in hi team of 23 players that will be going to South Africa for the 2013 Afcon tournament.
Henry Nwosu, former Eagles midfielder and former coach of the U-17 national team is excited at this development as he revealed to Goal.com.
”The list released by Keshi is a good omen to players in the Nigeria Premier League (Npl). He [Keshi] kept to his word to integrate the home based players into the senior national team,” Nwosu told Goal.com.
So now players like Reuben Gabriel (Kano Pillars), Azubuike Egwueke (Warri Wolves), Godfrey Oboabona (Sunshine Stars) and the Enugu Rangers' trio of Sunday Mba, Ejike Uzoenyi and Chigozie Agbim made the list.
Nwosu stressed that the inclusion of these players to South Africa showed that Keshi meant what he said at the beginning of his assignment where he vowed to steadily integrate the home lads into the senior national team.
He also confessed that their selection will not only improve their market values but would also serve as good advertisement to the Nigeria Premier League (NPL).
"This is an opportunity to give a positive outlook of our league and make it marketable and viable. This is a chance to give a proper advertisement of the NPL,” Nwosu added.
The 2013 Afcon starts on January 19 and ends February 10. The Eagles will play their first match against Burkina Faso on January 21 before subsequent matches against Zambia and Ethiopia.