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Africa Cup of Nations Qualification

Former Super Eagles midfielder, Friday Ekpo hails Gernot Rohr over NPFL invitees

6:41 PM GMT 19/03/2019
Gernot Rohr
The Super Eagles coach has been commended for his decision to have as many as four NPFL stars in camp for the games against Seychelles and Egypt

Former Super Eagles midfielder, Friday Ekpo has hailed the Nigeria national team coach, Gernot Rohr for inviting players from the Nigeria Professional Football League for the upcoming games against Seychelles and Egypt.

Four players from the NPFL are presently at the Eagles’ camp in Asaba, Delta State sweating it out with their foreign-based counterparts ahead of Friday’s AFCON qualifiers and the high-profile friendly four days after.

Ekpo who has always been an advocate on the need to have local-based players in the national team said he is happy that some have been given a chance to prove their worth by the Eagles’ coach.

“I have always been an advocate of the Super Eagles coach inviting players from the home front which is our own Premier League,” Ekpo told Goal

“Going abroad all the time to select the whole team will discourage those behind to play in the league as they would have it at the back of their mind that they must go abroad before they can have a chance to play for their country, which is not supposed to be so”

“For me, once the coach makes up his mind upon the kind of team he wants, he should always make a chance for six-seven players at every point in time from the domestic thing.”

The quartet of Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Valentine Ozornwafor Ikouwem Utin, and Ndifreke Effiong are the players from the home front in the Eagles' camp and Ekpo has advised the players not to feel in any way inferior to their foreign counterparts.

“I would advise them not to look at themselves as an inferior player even if this is just the first time they have been invited or they have always been invited but don’t play.

“What I will tell them is that even if it is just five minutes they are given, they should make sure they make the best use of the chance and make that little time count," Ekpo stated

The Super Eagles’ games against Seychelles and Egypt will be played at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, Delta State.