Yobo, Enyeama canvass unflinching support

CONSCIOUS of what might happened when the team is not doing well, Super Eagles skipper, Joseph Yobo and his assistant Vincent Enyeama, have spoken of the need for Nigerian football supporters not to fret anytime the team falls short of their expectations, urging them to keep supporting the team in its quest for glory at AFCON 2013.

Yobo also condemned reports that he was nursing an injury and may not be fit for the Afcon championship, assuring that he was 100 per cent fit and ready for the championship. His above average performance in the game against the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde also underlines his fitness status. “I must say Nigerians have been very supportive of the team but we need more, especially when things go wrong because it cannot be rosy all the time. The media especially must always stand behind us so that our families will not be discouraged when they read negatives about the team”, Yobo said in Faro on Wednesday night.

“I also heard that they say I’m not fit but I have been very active all season for my club and the proof is there on the net for anyone to see. God has blessed me and no man can put me down not at this time of my career. Nigerians must unite behind the team for the goals to be delivered”, he said.

Enyeama, who spoke in similar vein, said most of the players that have been so labeled great and won laurels achieved it because their compatriots and their media stood solidly behind them. “It’s very demoralising when a player makes a single mistake, the people stand up and start condemning such a player calling for his head. They forget the past when the same player saved the nation from defeat or was outstanding. We must always defend our own thing all the time, because that is the only way the Super Eagles can bring greatness to Nigeria”, he said.

Meanwhile, Cape Verde Head Coach, Lucio Antunes, has said the Super Eagles put up a gallant performance against his side and he expects the team will go far in the Afcon 2013 championship. Antunnes, who spoke through an interpreter, declared that his boys met a very experienced side in Nigeria and he was happy that the team played out a draw. He also promised that his team; the Blue Sharks will cause many upsets at the Afcon championship with the quality of players at its disposal.

… As team undergoes medical test

THE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is not taken chances with the health of the players as all the 23 players who made the final list for the Nations Cup starting later this month in South Africa, were Thursday taken for a comprehensive medical check-up in Faro, Portugal.

The medicals include scans, chest x-ray, blood tests and general health test for the players with the medical team headed by Dr Ibrahim Gyaran assisted by Physiotherapist, Adewale Oladejo being very busy for the better part of the day. The players went for the tests in batches of four and five and there are indications that the health status of the Super Eagles is very good.

Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, described the exercise as routine and good for the players and the team, even though most of the players have undergone same in the various clubsides.

Nigerians, who have expressed fears over the thigh strain that Super Eagles goalie suffered in the friendly against Cape Verde Wednesday have also been told that there was no cause for alarm, as the keeper’s injury is normal and he would be ready for the championship that starts on Wednesday.

“I have been told that in two days I can resume action on the pitch, because I’m feeling very free now”, Ejide said on Wednesday evening after the routine medical tests.

Guinness promises huge support for Eagles at AFCON

AS the Nigeria Super Eagles intensifies training for the South Africa 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Guinness Nigeria Plc has promised to drum more support to the Stephen Keshi-tutored side.

Marketing Manager, Guinness Nigeria, Obinna Anyalebechi, noted that being an official sponsor of the team, Guinness has decided to chose the AFCON period as time for the promo because of the need to reward it loyal consumers while galvanising their support along with that of millions of other Nigerians in support of the Super Eagles during the tournament to bring back the trophy that was last won in 1994.

“As a brand that is truly made of more, we believe strongly that our darling Super Eagles team is truly made of more and this massive show of support will go a long way in motivating the team to give its best and hopefully bring back the trophy”, Anyalebechi said.

Goldashe All Stars’ drums support for Eagles

Less than one week to the kick off of the 29th Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa, soccer exponent and President of Goldashe United All Stars of Port Harcourt, Mr. Fubara Kingsley Hart has pledged to throw the gate of the recreational outfit open to members of the public to avail them the opportunity of watching the Super Eagles matches live on television.

According to the football enthusiast, the gesture, which is aimed at rallying support for the nation’s flag bearer, will also serve as leverage for teeming fans who may not afford the exorbitant fees charged by public viewing centres.

The Goldashe administrator, who disclosed these in a chat with sports writers in Port Harcourt last weekend, expressed satisfaction with the final list of players released by Coach Stephen Keshi ahead of the tournament, urging them not to let the nation down amidst expectations.

The club house which is located inside the premises of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt has the capacity to sit over one hundred and fifty persons, and lurked in a serene environment adjacent to the training pitch, according to the club’s President.