Tuesday was the Super Eagles 2nd full day in training since they opened camp for the World Cup qualifying match against Namibia on Sunday.
But it was not all rosy news as team secretary, Dayo enebi Achor revealed that Athletico Belaeres midfielder, Raheem Lawal may not play on Sunday against Namibia.
This is because he is currently battling to regularize his visa in Spain.
Lawal, was exquisite in the midfield when the Super Eagles played Peru in a friendly last week and was thought to be in Stephen Keshi’s plan for Sunday’s duel.
“We are still expecting him anytime from now and we will not relent until he arrives the country to join his colleagues in camp,” Achor said.
It’s however thought that even if Lawal arrives camp on Wednesday, Stephen Keshi may have no room to assess him properly for a game as crucial as a World Cup qualifier.
He may have to wait for the away tie next week against Malawi to prove his mettle. Though, nothing has yet been ruled out.
Meanwhile, Italy based duo of Nnamdi Oduamadi and Obiorah Nwankwo, joined camp Tuesday afternoon, to swell the number of players in the national team to 26.
They were part of the evening training and hustling for shirts ahead of Sunday’s clash against the Brave Warriors.
Enyeama Is UNICAL Favourite At Training
The Super Eagles training at the University of Calabar is fast turning to a funfair of some sort as fans numbering over five thousand troop in daily to cheer the team at training.
It was initially mild on Monday morning, but by the evening of Monday, it has assumed a more exciting dimension, with students and other fans occupying nearly all available spaces within the football complex.
It even got sweeter on Tuesday morning.
The fans exhibited very good knowledge of the players, and their club sides, urging them to go and conquer against Namibia on Sunday, with cheers for every move of the players and officials.
Victor Moses, Ahmed Musa and Ikechukwu Uche received applause specially.
Not surprisingly, skipper of the side, Vincent Enyeama, who was once a student at the University of Calabar was the fans favourite, as they not only cheered every save he made but even advised him on what next move to make in his football career.
Some of the fans chanted, ‘Enyeama, leave Lille and go to England. Arsenal dey wait for you”.
Another roared ‘ no let French people kill your talent, Wenger dey wait for you for London’.
Many more too numerous were chanted during training. The Eagles first choice, simply smiled away and waved at the fans at the end of every training session.
Namibian delegation arrive on Thursday
A 25-man delegation of the Namibian National Football Team, known as Brave Warriors, will arrive in Lagos on Thursday evening aboard a Lufthansa Airline flight from Frankfurt.
NFF officials confirmed on Tuesday that the delegation of 25 will be made up of players, technical crew and backroom staff.
A separate delegation of three officials of the Namibia Football Association will also arrive Lagos the same day aboard a South frican Airways flight from Johannesburg.
The Brave Warriors, who have been training in Germany and played a 0-0 draw with Mozambique in a friendly in Germany on Saturday, take on the Super Eagles in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign, African Series Day One at the U. J. Esuene Sports Stadium, Calabar from 4pm on Sunday.
Akpoborie, Howard, Etta Egbe Pump Up Eagles
As preparations reach fever pitch for the Super Eagles versus Brave Warriors of Namibia World Cup qualifier, the camp of the national team at the Metropolitan Hotel in Calabar, has been playing host to notable ex-internationals.
Three of them Jonathan Akpoborie, Franklin Howard and Etta Egbe stand out of the pack, as they not only monitor events at the team’s camp but also take time off to watch the team train and the trio were there on Monday and Tuesday mornings when the team trained and gave their thoughts about the team.
Akpoborie, who spoke first, said he was delighted at what he has seen in the national team, urging Nigerians to give the Stephen Keshi led technical crew room to excel.
He said he sympathises with Nigerians’ desperation for victory in all international engagements but warned that it is a new dawn and the crew and players must be given time to blossom.
His caveat however is that Keshi needs more Euro-based professionals in the team. “I have watched the team keenly and objectively and I think it’s very encouraging but I think we still need more foreign based professionals in the team because of their experience. I don’t have any person in mind but I trust that Keshi has the experience to call up those that will add value to the team.
On his part, Howard, who played alongside Keshi in the glory days of NNB of Benin City, said he was in the team’s camp to lend support to his old pal and the players and praised the vision of Keshi to give home based players a chance to fight for shirts in the national team.
The Unicem Rovers of Calabar Coach, said with what he has seen, Calabar will not only bring victory to the team but has the capacity to become the new home of the national team, because of the maturity and support base that football enjoys in Cross River.
“If you bring Under 5 or Under 10 national team here, they will excel, because the people are simply crazy about soccer.
Famed former Calabar Rovers and NNB goalie, Etta Egbe, a son of the soil here in Cross River, says citizens of the state have been praying daily for the national team to excel on Sunday and he was sure that the team will not only win but win very well.
“In churches, mosques and even traditional places, Cross Riverians have been praying for the Super Eagles and the much I have seen of Keshi’s team, gives me hope that the team will conquer on Sunday,” he said.