Super Eagles goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi has said the side’s captain and centurion Vincent Enyeama will forever remain his key role model.
The Warri Wolves shot stopper has been praised for his standout performance in Sunday’s friendly clash in Nelspruit against Bafana Bafana of South Africa.
Akpeyi said aside from Enyeama’s overriding role in his career, Ike Shorunmu, the former Nigerian star and the side’s goalkeeper coach, as well as stand-in coach Daniel Amokachi are equally defining personalities in his flowering football career.
“Enyeama has been a big brother and role model who has been with me through thick and thin.
“Enyeama has been encouraging and supportive, ever ready to remind me that ups and downs in life are quite natural but something that can spur one on to a higher height.
“He always tell me to look ahead in the face of being picked and dropped, saying that he himself faced a similar fate at some points in his career.
“I learnt a lot from him and I’ll always remain eternally grateful for his positive touch on my career.
“The same encouragement and support were given to me by Shorunmu.
“Shorunmu will always tell me not to lose faith but keep my head up no matter what.
“Coach Amokachi has been wonderful too, especially handing me the starting shirt against South Africa in Nelspruit. I thank him for the confidence he reposed in me in such a crucial match.
“I understand that I’m not there yet but will work harder to justify future opportunities that may come my way,” said the former Heartland magnet to supersport.com.
Akpeyi said his side did not disappoint against Bafana Bafana in the high profile friendly match in Nelspruit.
“The clash against South Africa was really tough because of the existing rivalry between the countries.
“South Africa came into the game to consolidate their recent edge over Nigeria but we didn’t want that to happen, not after the defeat to Uganda in Uyo.
“The encounter was a good one for both sides, we didn’t lose the game and I strongly believe we can perform better in future matches,” said Akpeyi.
The friendly match is part of the programme to keep the side active and competitive ahead of the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup qualifying matches among others.