Rivers United Defender Credits ‘Determination and Prayers’ for Super Eagles Call Up

Rivers United Defender Credits ‘Determination and Prayers’ for Super Eagles Call Up
Credit: Icon Sport

Ahead of the upcoming AFCON 2023 qualifiers fixtures match against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone, Rivers United defender Chidiebubue Duru has expressed his excitement at being called up to join the Super Eagles camp in preparation for the match.

Nigeria national football team manager José Peseiro has been deliberate in incorporating talents from the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) in all his matchday squads. Along with three others, Duru is one of the latest to be invited to the Super Eagles squad after the Portuguese manager’s tour of the NPFL Super 6 tournament and he is looking forward to making it count.

“I want to make this call-up count,” says Duru

Duru and his Rivers United teammate, goalkeeper Victor Sochima, Olorunleke Ojo from Enyimba FC, and Divine Nwachukwu of Bendel Insurance are the four home-based talents that were included in Peseiro’s 23-man squad to face Sierra Leone on Sunday 18 June.

They are all participating in the ongoing NPFL Super 6 mini-tournament, the Championship round that determines who ends up as the league champions after the regular season. The national team camp in Abuja is open but there is one match left in the Super 6 tournament before the break, which means Duru and Co will be joining the rest of the called-up players in the coming days.

While the 23-year-old wingback is focused on helping Rivers United usurp Enyimba, managed by Super Eagles' first assistant manager Finidi George, to the 2022/23 NPFL title, he is also excited about the prospect of making his debut for the Nigeria national football team in the coming days.

Speaking with the media, Duru expressed surprise and gratitude at the call-up. He credited his determination and prayers as key factors that took him to the limelight and also stated that he is hoping to prove himself enough to Peseiro to be included in the matchday XI or subs bench.

“I am super excited to be among the 20 teams in Nigeria Professional Football League. I am lucky to be called upon to represent the country,” Duru said.

Super Eagles Call-up Will Boost My Profile, Duru Says

The Rivers United defender added: “It all comes down to determination and prayers, so, I am super excited and happy that I always want hope for this kind of opportunity to represent the country.”

Asked what the opportunity really means to him, he said: “It is not easy for a home-based player to represent Nigeria. It is a thing of joy and I am super excited. It is a plus because it is going to add to my profile.”

Fellow NPFL call-up Divine Nwachukwu of Bendel Insurance also expressed joy at being included in the latest AFCON 2023 qualifiers squad. “I feel amazing, amazing,” Nwachukwu said. “It's amazing stuff for me. Honestly, I am surprised. I can't believe myself right now. I give glory to God for that.

“It is a great thing for me and a great motivation for me,” he added. “To get an invitation to the national team is not easy and I hope I keep the tempo high and keep working hard to achieve greater things.”

This article was most recently revised and updated 1 year ago

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