Abuja - Football fans in Abuja on Sunday hailed Ejike Uzoenyi’s award at the just concluded African Nations Championship (CHAN), describing it as well-deserved.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Super Eagles winger was named the most valuable player of the 2014 CHAN by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
The Enugu Rangers star scored thrice in two of his team’s six games at the tournament organised for locally-based players.
He won three consecutive man-of-the-match awards and also supplied four assists in the Super Eagles' 13 goals at the championship.
Some of them that spoke to NAN said that he did not only deserve the award, but must have earned a place in the world cup team.
The secretary-general of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), Tunde Popoola, noted that Uzoenyi was a complete footballer and deserved to be in keshi's first team list.
"Given his performance in CHAN, I think Uzoenyi is a very intelligent player. He thinks very fast and has a good finishing as well as good delivery of the ball.
"In my opinion, he should not only make the world cup team, but should also be among Keshi's starting eleven," he said.
Also, the Secretary General, Nigeria Football Coaches Association, Solomon Ogbeide, said that Uzoenyi was one of the best home-based players he had seen in a long time.
Ogbeide further said that the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) could churn out more quality places if given the required attention.
"Without Uzoenyi that CHAN team would not have achieved as much success as they did.
"And if he can reproduce this same form or even better in team A, then I think Nigeria will go very far in the World Cup," he said.
Ibrahim Abdullahi, FCT Football Association Secretary, corroborated Ogbeide’s claims that Uzoenyi was a hardworking and clinical finisher who deserved to play regularly with the main Super Eagles.
"Keshi hasn't given him enough opportunity when the big boys are around.
"I think he needs more playing time with the foreign-based players; his ball control is excellent and he doesn't deserve to still be in the NPFL.
"I hope he gets a European call-up after the world cup," Abdullahi said.
Similarly, Moroof Oluwa, the secretary-general if the Nigeria Referees Association, said Uzoenyi's style of play was dangerous to any team, adding, "I see Okocha in-the-making in Uzoenyi.
"`I like his guts because he can deliver when you need him the most. I wish he can replicate the same spirit when he's being called to duty.
"I think Keshi should experiment with him playing a free role in the midfield with Mikel and Onazi," he said.