It is no longer news that Gernot Rohr has invited 25 Nigerians to a camp in France and for a friendly game against Corsica on May 26.
The biggest excitement is the inclusion of 4 players from the Nigeria Professional Football League. While some may frown at the exclusion of table toppers Plateau United from the Fantastic Four, nobody will begrudge the inclusion of top scorer Stephen Odey and his MFM FC teammate Sikiru Olatunbosun whose wonder goal agsinst Rangers drew the attention of the world to the NPFL.
Akwa United’s Alhassan Ibrahim has been in fine form this season with Kanu-like performances. He has been invited and would be happy to be reunited with Kelechi Iheanacho and Isaac Success, his teammates at junior level. I am more excited at his inclusion than any other member of the NPFL Four. The last of the four is FC IfeanyiUbah goalie and Super Eagles regular invitee Ikechukwu Ezenwa. His inclusion can only be attributed to his previous invitation because he is not the best in the league and even share duties with Bamba Drissa for the Anambra Warriors.
Sometimes I begin to wonder what Theophilus Afolakhai, Sunday Rotimi et al need to do to make the cut but it is Rohr’s job and so far he has been delivering. If he thinks Dele Alampasu is a better choice, so it is. But be chilled, it is just a camp. Hopefully they get their chance one day and grab it. Carl Ikeme is needed back ASAP. We can’t be playing draft with the goalkeeper position with South Africa around the corner. And yes, don’t bring back Enyeama. Let us respect his choice.
Generally, I pray the Four impress Rohr in France. More importantly, I believe it is an opportunity for Rohr to strengthen his team irrespective of where the players ply their trade.
It is also necessary for us to know that Corsica is not a country and the friendly is not recognized by FIFA. Corsica is a region (state) in France – like Hawaii in the US, Lagos in Nigeria. So caps will be +0 after the game. The camping is the main stuff with the AFCON qualifier in June against South Africa the immediate target.
There is also news of a proposed friendly in France against Togo on June 1. The NFF is yet to announce but the Togolese FA have tweeted about it. We are watching.
Oh… The full list is here.
Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (FC IfeanyiUbah); Dele Alampasu (Cesarense FC, Portugal)
Defenders: Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); William Ekong (KAA Gent, Belgium); Uche Agbo (CF Granada, Spain); Abdullahi Shehu (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Tyronne Ebuehi (ADO Den Haag, The Netherlands); Elderson Echiejile (Sporting Gijon, Spain); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto, Portugal)
Midfielders: Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (CD Feirense, Portugal); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Mikel Agu (Vitoria Setubal, Portugal); Alhassan Ibrahim (Akwa United FC)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Leicester City, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City, England); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Stephen Odey (MFM FC); Olanrewaju Kayode (FC Austria Wien, Austria); Isaac Success (Watford FC, England); Noah Serenren-Bazee (Hannover 96, Germany); Victor Osimhen (Wolfsburg FC, Germany); Sikiru Olatubosun (MFM FC)
TO JOIN TEAM IN PARIS AFTER ENGLISH FA CUP FINAL: Ola Aina (Chelsea FC, England); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England)