Akwa United of Uyo defender, Ndifreke Effiong has taken the number of Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) players in the Super Eagles’ list for upcoming matches to four, following his invitation in place of AS Torino of Italy full back, Ola Aina over this past weekend .
Although controversy surrounds Aina’s sudden withdrawal, haven played all 90 minutes with his club before getting a red card in Serie A action at the weekend, as his side lost 3-2 at home to Bologna, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) quickly announced the inclusion of Effiong.
The former youth international now joins Katsina United goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa as well as Enyimba of Aba duo of Valentine Ozornwafor and Ikouwem Udo Utin in the Eagles’ squad that will battle Seychelles this Friday.
Effiong also joins Ozornwafor and Utin alongside Paul Onuachu from FC Midtjylland in Denmark as the uncapped players called up to the Eagles’ squad that will also battle Egypt in an international friendly on Tuesday, also at Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba.
The 20-year-old Effiong, who was part of the Olympic Eagles’ squad that won the 2015 Africa U-23 Cup of Nations and went on to win bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, joined Akwa United this year.
The rising player, who moved to his hometown club from Abia Warriors of Umuahia just before the start of the ongoing NPFL season, scored an opening goal for Akwa United in a 2-1 win away to Heartland of Owerri few hours before his invitation to the Eagles was made public.
Although reports at the weekend revealed that The Promise Keepers were not ready to allow the Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medalist leave, on account of a knock he copped in action against Heartland of Owerri, the stopper insists he is now fit for national team duty.
Ndifreke said he will report at the Eagles’ camp in Abuja on Tuesday, as he has shaken off effects of the injury he got in a 2-1 win against The Naze Millionaires in Okigwe.
Though he bowed out early in the second half in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) week 11 fixture on Sunday, Ndifreke says he has been cleared by his club’s doctors to report in the national camp.
The 20-year-old, who scored Akwa’s opener in the third minute, with an assist from top scorer, Mfon Udoh, who got the second goal for their side, has been in solid form so far this season, playing as a utility defender for The Promise Keepers, even sometimes as a holding midfielder.
Ndifreke declared: ”I am alright. The doctors have checked me and granted me permission to join the Super Eagles.
”I had a little shock in my knee, that’s why I was substituted, it’s not serious.”