The ongoing West African Football Union (WAFU) Cup of Nations in Ghana is not only helping to foster relationship among teams in the West African sub-region but for Ubong Peter Friday, it has helped to actualise his dream of wearing the green and white colours of Nigeria.
Friday has been a key figure in Akwa Akwa United’s league campaigns since his promotion to the senior team in 2015 and played a prominent role in their Cup success same year.
Having been overlooked by national team selectors until now, Friday received a call-up to join Nigeria’s locally assembled Super Eagles side for their trip to Ghana ahead of the WAFU Cup of Nations.
“Yes it is a dream come true for me,” begun Friday in a chat to www.aclsports.com on Friday.
“Every Nigerian footballer has the dream to represent their fatherland and mine is not different. It is my own way of serving my country and I am happy for this opportunity,” he added.
Friday made his debut, coming on as a second half substitute in Monday’s victory over Sierra Leone. With the scores at 0-0, Nigeria coach Salisu Yusuf called on Friday and another national team debutant, Peter Eneji from the bench and their introduction culminated in Nigeria’s late victory.
“The experience is good. There is FairPlay and the national team is very different from our own club side because you know you are playing for more people.”
Friday followed up Monday’s cameo appearance with his full debut, starting and lasting the entire duration in Thursday’s 0-0 draw with Mali, a result the winger did not like.
“To me, it is not a really good one. I am not happy that the first time I ever started a national team game I didn’t win.
“I expected a win but on the other side we cannot question God. I believe we will win our next game (against Guinea on Saturday).”
Ubong, only in his third top flight season – having made his NPFL debut against Enyimba on March 8, 2015 – scored 7 goals and contributed 4 assists in Akwa United’s run to 4th place finish in the just ended Nigeria Professional Football League season.