Tope Okeowo of non-league English side Peckham United has expressed joy at his call-up to the Super Eagles’ Crowne Plaza Camp.
Okeowo was on Wednesday handed a late call-up to the Super Eagles camp ahead of the international friendly games against Senegal and Burkina Faso.
This was as South Africa-based Daniel Akpeyi’s arrival at the camp was being delayed and Ikechukwu Ezenwa is still expected in camp from Nigeria due to visa hitches.
Also, the Super Eagles’ goalkeeping crisis took a new dimension as Carl Ikeme, who has been the only goalkeeper in camp since training began on Monday, was missing in the team’s final training session due to a knock.
The Super Eagles’ gaffer, Gernot Rohr, handed a late call-up to relatively unknown goalkeeper Okeowo of Peckham All Stars, as a replacement due to Ikeme’s injury.
It is very likely that Okeowo will man the goal for Nigeria as the other invited goalkeepers, Daniel Akpeyi and Ikechukwu Ezenwa, are still being expected as at Wednesday night.
Okeowo, who expressed joy at the call-up on his twitter handle on Thursday, said he was happy with the call-up even though it came as a huge surprise to him.
“I’m short of words and I can’t really explain what this means to me.
“It is an honour to be called up to the Super Eagles. I almost didn’t believe it when I received the call.’’
He noted that it was not his first time to have been called up to the national team as he was part of the 2003 Golden Eaglets squad to Finland 2003.
“Coach Austin Eguavoen was the coach then, and we had the likes of Mikel Obi, Chinedu Obasi, Chamberlain Ekerebe, Adetoro Morufu and Ezekiel Bala in the squad.
“I enjoyed that experience but I must say I’m surprised by this call-up. I give glory to God and my lovely wife,’’ Okeowo added.
Nigeria will take on Senegal at the Hive Stadium, Barnet FC’s ground on Thursday from 8 p.m. before wrapping up their schedule against Burkina Faso next week Monday to round up their two-game international break.