Super Eagles’ goalkeepers’ trainer, Alloy Agu has revealed the underlining factor that accounted for the exclusion of Daniel Akpeyi, Francis Odinaka Uzoho and Ikechukwu Ezenwa from the list of invitees to the Nigerian national team, which is simply because they have all been inactive, megasportsarena.com reports.
With Uzoho just reaching the end of his rehabilitation from a long-term injury, Akpeyi recently knocked out by a similar setback and Ezenwa yet to see action because the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) is still on coronavirus-induced break, Agu stressed that it would have been technically improper to invite them for next month’s friendlies in Austria.
Consequently, Akpeyi, Uzoho and Ezenwa were all last week left out of the Eagles’ roster of 25 players invited to battle Algeria on October 9 and Tunisia four days later at the same venue, with Sparta Rotterdam of Holland’s Emil Maduka Okoye, Ventspils of Latvia’s Sunday Dele Alampasu and SKF Sered of Slovakia’s Mathew Yakubu called-up instead.
It means Okoye, Alampasu and Yakubu will all get the chance to lay claim for temporary number one spot in the Eagles, when the squad go out for their first match since November 2019, but Agu believes the youngsters will be able to do anything that would have been expected of the trio of Ezenwa from Heartland of Owerri, Uzoho from APOEL Nicosia of Cyprus and Akpeyi from Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa.
Unlike Ezenwa, who has not played any competitive game since match, while Akpeyi is still recuperating from an injury that ruled him out of Chiefs’ last two matches of the past season and Uzoho only recently recovered from a cruciate ligament injury he copped last October in action for the Eagles, but has not played since he joined APOEL in July, those that have been invited for the friendlies have been playing consistently for their respective clubs.
Agu stated as much in an interview with The Punch newspaper and the ex-international shot-stopper stressed: “In Europe, there have been competitions and games going on, while the NPFL is yet to commence due to the coronavirus.
“Same with the Premier Soccer League in South Africa where Daniel Akpeyi plays, the league has just ended. Uzoho as well is just returning to full fitness after a long injury lay off and we are watching him.
“He still needs some time to get back into shape and we are watching him. Definitely, he is still part of the team; but Alampasu and Yakubu have been active for their respective teams and that earned them places in the team.”