Experienced Hapoel Hadera of Israel and Nigeria goalkeeper, Austin Ejide has voiced his desire for a role in the Super Eagles Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign.
Ejide spoke to Sporting Vanguard from his base in Israel following his eighth clean sheet performances of the Israeli second tier league, Liga Leumit season after a 1-0 triumph at Hapoel Katamon.
Katamon also have compatriot, George Akpabio on their payroll.
“Playing for my country at any given time has always been uppermost in my mind”, Ejide said on our hotline.
“But I cannot force myself (into the team). If they call me, why not?”.
The Agulu, Anambra State-born former Etoile due Sahel of Tunisia and Bastia of France goaltender expressed happiness with the performance of the Eagles but insisted he has a role to play in the team.
“For me, anyone that wears the green-white-green earns my support. I can only keep working hard to earn a recall to the team.
“Surely, playing in the World Cup again is on my mind. I will strive to give my best if the opportunity calls again”.
Ejide, 33, has made three World Cup appearances, first at Korea/Japan 2002, South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014.
He was frozen out of the senior national team following the emergence of Sunday Oliseh as successor to Stephen Keshi (now late) as Super Eagles coach.
Oliseh preferred Carl Ikeme from Wolverhampton, a Championship side in the English League.
Ejide parted company with Israeli top side, Hapoel Be’er Sheva and stayed out of action in 2016 but returned to club action last year following a move to Hapoel Hadera.
On Tuesday, Super Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr, called up 28 players for the two Super Eagles exhibition games against Poland and Serbia without Ejide.
Yet he remains upbeat that exclusion in these pre World Cup games will not shut him out of the global soccer showpiece if its God’s wish for him to be a part of the squad.
“I don’t think so, if it is the will of God (for me to be at the World Cup).
“There are still other tune up games before the World Cup but then, those listed for this two games and even others have my patriotic support to excel in the games”, he stressed.