Thirty-five-year-old Goalkeeper Not Ruling out Return to Super Eagles

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DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - AUGUST 14: Austine Ejide during the 2013 Nelson Mandela Challenge match between South Africa and Nigeria at Moses Mabhida Stadium on August 14, 2013 in in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Goalkeeper Austin Ejide has set his sights on a return to the national team set-up following his rich vein of form with his Israeli club-side, Hapoel Hadera.

Ejide, 35, has represented the Eagles 35 times since making his debut in 2001 against Namibia and last featured for the three-times African champions in 2014.

 

Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has not had it all rosy in the team’s goalkeeping departmen as he continues to chop and change in a bid to find the best pair of hands for the Eagles.

 

Ejide has been in imperious form for Hapoel Hadera this season helping them to sixth position in the Israeli Premier League table.

 

The former Hapoe lBe’er Sheva shot-stopper believes he still has what it takes to represent the Eagles.

 

“I know the situation in Nigeria. I get positive remarks in Israel and being rated highly could be something that will pave the way,” Ejide told BBC Sport.

 

 

“I’ve kept nine clean sheets this season and we all know that goalkeepers always get better with age.

 

“I’ve also been following the Eagles and I believe that with my consistent performances in Israel, there is every chance it opens the door to the possibilities of another call-up.

 

“I can never shut the international door to play for Nigeria again, I believe I have what it takes to get another chance.

 

“At 46, Essam El-Hadary still played a major tournament for Egypt and I can hopefully follow in that footsteps.

 

“I keep focusing on club football here, the more I do well, then I will continue to retain that hope of playing for my country again.”

 

Ejide has been named in three FIFA World Cup squads: 2002 in Japan and South Korea, 2010 in South Africa, and 2014 in Brazil.

 

He was the first-choice goalkeeper at the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations ahead of Vincent Enyeama under coach Berti Vogts

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