The Metropolitan Hotel camp of the Super Eagles of Nigeria in Cross River State, Calabar came alive today ahead of their 3 June World Cup qualifying match against Namibia at the U.J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar.
Apart from returnee Super Eagles striker, John Utaka, who was due in camp this afternoon, all invited players are already in camp with Wigan Athletic of England player, Victor Moses.
The players who are making things happen at the Eagles’ camp are: Ik Uche, Vincent Enyeama, Efe Ambrose, Fegur Ogude, Elderson Echiejile, Austin Ejide and Sone Aluko.
The team had their first training session under the watchful eyes of Coach Stephen Keshi with his assistants providing additional back up for him twice today: one in the morning and the other one this evening.
One of the invited players, Ekigho Ehiosun, who featured for Nigeria in the 1 – 0 defeat to Peru in an international friendly game in Lima last Wednesday, said the players have put the loss behind them while the focus now is the game against Namibia.
The Commissioner for Sports in Cross River State, Patrick Ugbe has promised the Eagles total support as all hands are on deck to cheer the team to victory.
“We’ll be training twice everyday by 7.30am and 4pm. The weather here in Calabar is very good and the players are really impressed with the cleanliness of the city and the hospitality the people are showing to the them,” Ben Alaiya, Media Officer of the team said.
Meanwhile, Rubin Kazan of Russia star, Obafemi Martins has charged the Eagles to win all the qualifiers if they want to be part of the 2013 Africa Nations Cup and FIFA 2014 World Cup.
Martins believes that the absence of Nigeria in the last Africa Nations Cup will spur the Eagles to win all their qualifiers.
“I expect the team to win all their qualifiers irrespective of the opponents. It will be a disappointment if we fail to fly to South Africa and Brazil,” said Martins.
The former Newcastle of England striker said Nigeria’s poor ranking in the world was a result of the country’s absence in the last Africa Nations Cup.
“I am not really happy with our position in the FIFA ranking. We need to improve in all our games and that’s why we must win our home and away matches in next month’s qualifiers if we want our country to be ranked among the top 20 football playing nations in the world,” he said.
Martins also revealed that he still has a year contract with Rubin Kazan and he is not ready to move to another club next season.
—Adebobola Alawode & Francis Achi, Abuja