Goalkeeper of Enyimba, Theophilus Afelokhai says the People’s Elephant is a dream club for every player in the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL.
In an online chat with Journalists on Monday, May 25, the goalkeeper says joining Enyimba should be a dream of every footballer who has the ambition to win trophies and develop in the league.
He also explained how difficult it was for him to end his 12-year affiliation with Kano Pillars, owing his football career to the former NPFL champions.
“Enyimba is the biggest club in Nigeria which is the dream of every player to play for the team,” Afelokhai said. “I was happy joining them from Kano Pillars, though it was a difficult decision for me considering my long relationship with Kano. I didn’t come because of money, I was the highest-paid player in Pillars, I even had contracts from the Kano State government just to make me feel at home.
“I’ve been in Kano for more than 12 years and I needed a new challenge. I did not want to feel like a boss in the team, so I explained to my wife that I am seeking a new challenge and Enyimba is the biggest challenge for me. Every goalkeeper that knows his worth wants to play for Enyimba, I knew the team had many good goalkeepers but I decided to challenge myself.
“I also came here to prove people wrong, showing that it is not only in Pillars that I can shine, I can still shine in any club.”
The 30-year old said the People’s Elephant had the pedigree of producing players for the national team and wanted to follow in the footsteps of Super former Eagles goalkeepers like Vincent Enyeama and Dele Aiyenugba.
“I was aware that Enyimba had the pedigree of producing goalkeepers that play in the national team like Vincent Enyeama and Dele Aiyenugba, I was learning from them when I was in Kano and I told myself, let me come here to where they played before traveling out of the country. It was very difficult to leave Pillars, I cried at the time, and whenever we play against Pillars, it’s always very difficult for me to face them.
“I thank Kano Pillars, the team made me who I am today and I am grateful. But I thank God I joined Enyimba. This club is like the national team, it is very discipline, if you are not good, you can’t play for the club. I’ve learned a lot of things in Enyimba, which has helped me in the national team. If you are a footballer, your ambition should be to play for Enyimba, that’s why it is a dream club for every player in Nigeria.”
Afelokhai has spent his career playing in the NPFL and is considered one of the best goalkeepers to ever play in the league, but he believes he is the best goalkeeper currently playing in the domestic league.
“We have a lot of goalkeepers in Nigeria, it is not easy to come out and say you are the best. If you name ten goalkeepers in the NPFL today and put it on social media for a vote, I guarantee you I will win the contest. I have been winning such contest and I’ve been awarded the best goalkeeper in Nigeria for many years. So I will keep working hard to be among the best.”
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