Sunday, March 20, 2011



Former Flying Eagles and U-23 Olympic Eagles star, Ambrose Efe, in this exclusive interview with IZUCHUKWU OKOSI, speaks on his fresh challenges as a Super Eagles invitee under Samson Siasia.

Congratulations Ambrose on your invitation to the Super Eagles for the March 27 Nations Cup qualifier against Ethiopia. How does this make you feel?

Elated, of course. I’ve been craving for this and I thank God my prayers have been answered. It is the wish of every player to play for his national team and I’m no exception. I hope to be an integral part of the ‘new’ Eagles henceforth.

You have repeatedly told us in previous interviews that you feel you’re ripe for a place in the Super Eagles. Do you think your invitation by Samson Siasia was based on merit or he merely wants to try you out?

The coach Siasia I know is someone who appreciates hardwork and has a lot of belief in young players. He wants to build a strong national team and I’m glad that the League where a player plies his trade is no longer an issue.

Siasia is a coach that listens to his assistant coaches as well as the players. He is not bossy, rather, he’s a big brother and wants to relate with his players that way. You saw how the players and coaches related before the 2008 Olympics. His fairness and knowledge of the game earns him the respect of his players.

You also dream of partnership with captain Joseph Yobo in the heart of Eagles defence. Do you think you can beat other central defenders to that role for the March 27 game with Ethiopia?

The decision of who gets to play rests with the coach. It doesn’t matter whether I pair with Yobo or not. What matters is that we win the game. However, I will work hard in the trainings to convince the coaches.

How did your coach and teammates at FC Ashdod react to your invitation?

They were happy for me. My fellow Nigerian at the club, Emmanuel Sarki, told me this is a good chance to hit it big and that I must not blow the chance.

Do you have a sense of fulfilment that your form at FC Ashdod won you a place in the national team, having scored a goal this season...

I have not regretted my coming here because at Kaduna United, I became a first team player right from my first game. Of course, every player wants to play in big European leagues, but I think my performance has been okay, although I can improve. Perhaps, my game here convinced Siasia.

You were reportedly having a heart defect just before the Beijing 2008 Olympics. That must have been a traumatic time for you...

(Sighs) It did weigh me down for quite sometime because I never had a problem like that but my family and friends were there for me and encouraged me a lot
I can imagine how that affect one’s performance on his job and so on. But were you thinking of doing something else apart from football?

Never! I knew that such rumour will blow over and the Nwankwo Kanu case, though quite a different situation gave me the assurance that unless you count yourself out, you can brave life’s biggest challenges.

You were a Flying Eagles player at the 2007 U-20 World Cup in Canada. What is your advise to John Obuh’s team preparing for the Africa Youth Championship?

The only advise I have for them is to remain focused and realise that they will make the name first before having the wealth. But the coach must also listen to his players, although I’m not saying laxity should be encouraged.

And the U-23 players?

Same goes for them. The present U-20 and U-23 are managed by sound coaches and I know they can go places.

Thank you for speaking with Complete Sports.

It’s a pleasure

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