Two-time Africa Cup of Nations bronze medallist, Dele Aiyenugba, has stressed that goalkeepers selected from the Nigeria Premier Football League must give their foreign-based counterparts a run for their money when the Super Eagles camp opens, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
The 34th edition of the AFCON kicks off January 13 in Ivory Coast.
The Kwara United goalkeeper’s charge came in the wake of the leaked Eagles AFCON provisional list which includes Enyimba goalie Olorunleke Ojo, Bendel Insurance goalkeeper Amas Obasogie and Sporting Lagos’ Christian Nwoke.
Ojo, Obasogie and Nwoke are among the six goalkeepers in the 40-man provisional squad which has been making the rounds. Others are embattled Francis Uzoho, South Africa-based Stanley Nwabili and Adebayo Adeleye.
Given the escalated goalkeeping problem of Nigeria, coach Jose Peseiro has been mandated to find a suitable replacement for Uzoho and Aiyenugba believes the NPFL goalkeepers should rival their foreign-based counterparts.
“I’ve said it before that they don’t stand a chance of becoming the first choice because of the amount of time to effectively test them and integrate them into the team. Nonetheless, I think they will get their chances so anything can happen,” Aiyenugba told our correspondent.
The Kwara United goalkeeper maintained that competition kept Vincent Enyeama on his toes during his time with the Eagles.
“Most of us started like that. We just go to camps and competitions but we don’t play. However, the most important thing is that there should be competition. During our time, everyone knew Vincent was the first choice but we didn’t allow him to rest. And it was good healthy competition because we were even teammates at Enyimba so it was easy for us.
“We need more of that in the goalkeeping set up,” he noted.
Among the three NPFL goalkeepers, Nwoke is the latest to get a fresh call-up. Ojo has been a regular part of the squad since his invitation during the AFCON qualifiers against Sierra Leone while Obasogie was a late replacement for Maduka Okoye during the 2026 World Cup qualifiers against Lesotho and Zimbabwe.
The Super Eagles camp will be opened December 29 in Saudi Arabia ahead of their challenge for a fourth AFCON title.