By Sedara Philip
Flying Eagles Coach Ladan Bosso has invited over twelve foreign based professionals to join the Under-20 National team of Nigeria as they intensify preparation ahead of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, starting in about three weeks time in Argentina.
The Nigeria team is pitched alongside Brazil, Italy and Dominican Republic in a dangerous group D pairing released just a few days ago and the coaches are doing all within their powers, to ensure that the country present a formidable team at the Youth World cup.
Daily, over fifty players battle for 21 available spots but out of this list, a Lafia based footballer has continued to dazzle the coaches and fans with his exceptional brilliance and fantastic footworks. He is so good that team mates gather after every training session to talk about him.
Ahead of this weekend’s NPFL home fixture with Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan in Jos, top officials of Nasarawa United, led by the chairman Isaac Danladi, besieged the Flying Eagles camp in Abuja, begging for the release of John Joshua.
Last week, they came begging for his release as the Lafia based club were guest of Plateau United and this week, they are back again pleading according to a top official of the Under-20 National team who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“This boy is just too good. I didn’t know that we still have exceptional talents like Joshua in the NPFL. I have seen him in two training sessions and I must confess, that he is far better than the players we took to WAFU and the Nations Cup in his position. He can operate as a winger, attacking midfielder and striker. He also has a knack for great goals” the official concluded
Joshua is one of many home based footballers whose hope of playing at the Under-20 FIFA World Cup could be shattered by some untested and untrusted foreign based professionals invited by the national team coaches to give their home based counterparts a run for their money.
He is not one player that is afraid of big names. He says he has what it takes to play at the very top and rob shoulders with the best in the world but like the patient dog, he is bidding his time, waiting for that big opportunity to come.
Could this be the chance he has been waiting for? Time will tell.