By Stanley Nwanosike & Millicent Ifeanyichukwu
Former Green Eagles Goalkeeper, Emmanuel Okala, has hailed Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser, Coach Gernot Rohr, for the World Cup provisional list, saying it was “a good list, with promising players’’.
The Nigeria Football Supporters Club (NFSC) also gave the list thumbs up, describing it as a good ground work ahead of 2018 FIFA world cup.
Okala, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Enugu, said the selected players are dedicated players who would do the country proud.
Okala said that he personally saw the provisional list as a good list “with lots of hope in it’’.
He noted that Rohr had taken the bull by the horn by ensuring that dedicated and strong legs were marshalled out to represent Nigeria at the World Cup finals in Russia.
“He (Rohr) is in charge and I know he will always do the best for the country.
“I have no reservation that the list is a good one and provisionally the best for the country for now,’’ he said.
Okala, who is the longest goalkeeper for Nigeria, said that he was particularly happy for the new entrants into the squad – Junior Lokosa and Simeon Nwankwo.
He said that he had known Simeon Nwankwo for some years now, even from the time he played in Nnaka League in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra.
“I was overwhelmed with joy when I heard that Nwankwo, made the list.
“I have known him years back even in our local Nnaka League to be a great player that will go places.
“Today, that forecast I made about the lad then is manifesting. He is simply a great player.
“I pray he joins other great and wonderful players in the team to make Nigerians proud,’’ he added.
Reacting on behalf of the Supporters Club, Samuel Ikpea, the NFSC chairman, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday that the list which comprised of both foreign and home based players would guard Coach Gernot Rohr to select the final squad for the mundial.
“I must commend Rohr on the list; it is a sign of his plan to take the nation far in the forthcoming World Cup.
“In spite of our qualification and awareness of our participation in the forthcoming world cup in Russia, fans have been eager to know the calibre of players that will make the team.
“So with this development, the consciousness is now on the air and I am sure that people are watching and expecting the coach to select the best for the competition, ‘’he said.
Ikpea said the list reflects the desire of the Franco- German handler to present the best players possible for the country at the mundial.
He said the inclusion of Dele Ajiboye, Junior Lokosa and two other home-based players in the list would go a long way to add value to the development of local football.
The chairman said that adequate arrangement were on ground to drum support and cheer the national team as they storm Russia in June for the event.
Rohr’s 30-man provisional squad for the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup finals was released by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Monday.
It included Goalkeepers — Francis Uzoho, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Daniel Akpeyi and Dele Ajiboye.
The Defenders are Leon Balogun, William Troost-Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo, Brian Idowu, Elderson Echejile, Shehu Abdulahi, Ola Aina, Tyrone Ebuehi, Stephen Eze and Chidozie Awaziem.
The Midfielders include Mikel Obi (Captain), Joel Obi, Ogenyi Onazi, Mikel Agu, Etebo Oghenekaro, John Ogu, Uche Ago and Wilfred Ndidi.
Attackers are Odion Ighalo, Ahmed Musa, Moses Simon, Victor Moses, Junior Lokosa (new entrant), Simeon Nwankwo (new entrant), Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho.
The Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup finals is scheduled to kick off on June 14 and end on July 15.