Fortuna Dusseldorf of Germany goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye has expressed hope that he will be able to arrive early at the Super Eagles’ camp before their friendly against Ukraine, as he wants to justify his shock inclusion in the Nigerian national team’s roster for the September 10 game at Dnipro-Arena.
Although some flak has rolled out against Eagles’ gaffer, Gernot Rohr for calling up a shot-stopper from the fourt-tier league in Germany, Okoye says he is happy with his invitation and wants to make the bet of it, hence his desire to see everything go well and ensure he hits the camp as early as can be, in order to make the best of the long-awaited opportunity.
He stated as much in reaction to his inclusion in the Eagles’ 23-player list that was rolled out by Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Wednesday, for which the 19-year-old mulatto, who expressed joy and pledged to put in his best, is named alongside two other goalkeepers, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Francis Odinaka Uzoho.
Although Okoye is now with Dusseldorf’s under-23 team in the German fourth division, his invitation comes after Eagles’ gaffer, Gernot Rohr fell in love with the 19-year-old shot-stopper’s performances last season, when he personally observed the youngster during his tour of Germany.
The Franco-German tactician was impressed with what he saw of Okoye and, though the mulatto keeper was third choice at Dusseldorf in the second division, Rohr has kept to his desire of calling the lad up, though the lad is not part of the main team in the top-flight German Bundesliga.
Although Okoye is still not in the top bracket of Dusseldorf’s main team shot-stoppers in Die Bundesliga, he will join the Eagles at the start of next month, as Rohr recalls that the rising star did well while training with his club’s senior players for the better part of the past season.
After taking part in pre-season training with the former club of Leon Aderemi Balogun this summer, Okoye was not named in their squad for the season, but Rohr still considers him as a better option to Ezenwa, Uzoho and Daniel Akpeyi, all of who he found wanting during the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
Rohr then spoke of his desire to have new blood between the Eagles’ posts looking forward, hence his determination to get Okoye, and he will be among the Eagles’ three goalkeepers for the match in Ukraine.
An additional report indicates that Okoye is not assured of a regular spot in the senior team, as he will be immediately seconded to the under-23 squad, Olympic Eagles for better development under less pressure from the ever-insatiable Nigerian soccer audience.
However, the youngster, who said Okoye who graduated from the same keepers’ academy that produced the like of Arsenal’s Bernd Leno and FC Barcelona’s Marc Andre Ter Stegen, said he is already praying hard and hoping for the best start to his international career with Nigeria.
Okoye told AOIFootball.com: “I can’t imagine how happy I am. I just hope everything will go well and I will be one of those to arrive early.”