Super Eagles goalkeeper, Stanley Nwabali, has urged players plying their trade in the Nigerian Premier Football League (NPFL) not to give up on their dream of representing Nigeria.
Stanley Nwabali began his professional career with the Go Round FC squad in the Nigeria Premier League (NPFL), currently in the second tier of the Nigerian football system.
The 27-year-old goalkeeper went on to play for other NPFL clubs like Katsina United, Lobi Stars, Wikki Tourists, and Enyimba.
He left Katsina United in October 2022 to sign with Chippa, a South African top-flight club.
After years of waiting for the opportunity to represent the Super Eagles of Nigeria, coach José Peseiro invited him to the team about a month into the 2023 AFCON amidst intense calls from the fans for Francis Uzoho to be replaced.
Stanley Nwabali was between the sticks during the Super Eagles’ pre-AFCON warmup game against Guinea, which ended in a 2-0 defeat to Nigeria.
In the Eagles’ 2023 AFCON opening match, which was against Equatoria Guinea on Sunday, coach Peseiro decided to start Nwabali ahead of Uzoho, who plays for Omonoia FC, a club in Cyprus, and the team’s third-choice goalkeeper, Olorunleke Ojo of Enyimba.
Though the goalkeeper wasn’t tested in most parts of the game, he conceded a goal as the Eagles recorded a disappointing 1-1 draw.
After the match, Stanley Nwabali expressed gratitude for accomplishing his dream of playing for Nigeria as he urged players in the NPFL never to give up on their dream of playing for the national team.
“I feel so excited, I feel happy being among this amazing team,” he said.
“I will only tell everyone playing in the NPFL not to lose hope. It’s surely going to happen. Just believe in yourself regardless of where you are and where you are coming from.”
Stanley Nwabali would be keen to make a huge statement in Nigeria’s second game against Ivory Coast on Thursday, should the opponents present a more formidable challenge for the Eagles.
Before joining the Super Eagles for the 2023 AFCON, Nwabali, currently playing in the South African first tier, conceded 14 goals in 15 games and recorded seven clean sheets.
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