Only two weeks ago, Uchenna Kalu, was on the payroll of Aba Elephants; Enyimba Fc, but as at today, Kalu is a player with Turkish second division side, Caykur Rizespor, and when he turned up at the Super Eagles camp on Tuesday morning for the game against Liberia, it was a totally different ‘Aba boy’, that came to camp.
Looking trimmer and spotting a white t-shirt with blue jeans and shoes to match, Kalu strolled into the dining hall of the team, while the game between Nigeria’s Falconets and the United States, was ongoing and was welcomed by players and officials, including Assistant Coach Hyadounou Valere.
Team Psychologist, Dr Robinson Okosun, was the first to throw a jibe at the player, when he told Kalu, that after only two weeks, his movement and dressing has changed, all reeled with laughter, but Kalu quickly corrected the notion and said he was still his old self.
He may be right, perhaps too early to judge as he did not speak in English phonetics as some of our players who have gotten contracts will want to do after less than two weeks abroad. His thick motherland Ibo intonation was still there and he did not fail to ask for swallows during lunch time but the medics made sure he never had his way with few days to a crucial encounter.
Expectedly, 14 home-based stars and 10 foreign-based players trained Tuesday at the training pitch of the National stadium in Abuja, led by Skipper of the side, Joseph Yobo.
The rains continue to pour down in the nation’s capital but Head Coach, Stephen Keshi says that will not hinder the team’s training as that could turn out to be the match condition when the team files out against Liberia on Saturday.
“Come rain or shine we will train and try to return the country to the top of African football after we missed the last edition of the Nations Cup,” he declared.