Nigeria goalkeeper Adebayo Adeleye is looking forward to his first start in between the sticks for the Super Eagles as they prepare to face Sierra Leone in the penultimate game of the 2023 AFCON qualifiers on Sunday in Liberia, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

After coming on as a substitute against Algeria’s second side during a friendly game last year, the Israel-based goalkeeper is yet to make his competitive debut for Nigeria and has been on the roster since his first call-up for a friendly game against Ecuador last June.

With Francis Uzoho not invited this time around, Adeleye is in line to get the nod between the sticks but will have to compete for the shirt with home-based duo Victor Sochima of Rivers United and Olorunleke Ojo of Enyimba.

He has been part of the Eagles training session since Monday at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Lagos, where he spoke to our correspondent about his desire to grab his chance against the Sierra Leoneans.

“I feel great, it’s good to be back. I’m working hard to get my chance and I keep praying as well to be able to use it well when the time comes. The training is intensifying for us to be ready for the game and I’m looking forward to it as well. With hard work and teamwork, we go there, give our best and play to win, so, we can be at the AFCON,” Adeleye told PUNCH Sports Extra.

The 23-year-old described the just-concluded season with Hapoel Jerusalem in the Ligat ha’Al as a successful one, keeping eight clean sheets in 20 games.

“It was a good season; we made the championship playoffs but we weren’t able to win it. But all the same it was a good season and I’m happy about that as well.”

The former junior international joined Hapoel Jerusalem in 2019 and has just signed a three-year contract extension which will keep him at the club until 2026.

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