Absa Premiership

Chance for Akpeyi to cement Super Eagles place, says Erico

2016-11-04 19:34
Daniel Akpeyi (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Former Nigeria goalkeeper Joe Erico has backed Chippa United's Daniel Akpeyi to cement his place in the Super Eagles team.

The goalkeeper has been called up to the national team ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Algeria, and Erico believes this is Akpeyi's chance to prove his worth.

"His (coach Gernot Rohr) choice of Akpeyi is a good one and it shows that his good work at his club is recognised," Erico told Punch Nigeria.

"Nigeria is blessed with good goalkeepers. With this invitation, Akpeyi has a chance to play his way into the national team.

"Akpeyi will not find it easy to get a starting role but this could be his chance. Ikeme became the first choice after the exit of Vincent Enyeama - and he proved his worth, hence the new coach decided to retain him.

"Enyeama had other challengers when he was first choice but none could outperform him when they had the opportunity, that was why he remained the first choice for a long time. Goalkeepers get better with age and Akpeyi is no exception.

"This invitation is an opportunity for him prove that what he did against Egypt (in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers) was no fluke. Akpeyi has good reflexes just like Ikeme, but only some inches shorter. I believe that he will deliver against Algeria."

Akpeyi meanwhile has described his delight at being called up for his national team.

The 30-year-old goalkeeper was initially left out of the squad, with Carl Ikeme preferred, but after an injury to the Wolverhampton gloveman, Akpeyi was called upon.

The Chilli Boys 'keeper is looking forward to the challenge and is confident the Super Eagles will get the best of the Desert Foxes.

"Of course, I consider it always an honour and privilege to serve my fatherland, I'm happy with the call up as I'm 100% fit and determined to justify my inclusion in the game against the Algerian opponents, Desert Foxes," he told SuperSport.

Read more on:    chippa united  |  super eagles  |  psl  |  daniel akpeyi  |  lagos  |  soccer

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