How Nwabali was scouted by the Super Eagles in the PSL

How Nwabali was scouted by the Super Eagles in the PSL

Chippa United and Nigeria international goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali says it was like a dream when coach Jose Peseiro informed him that he was coming to South Africa to monitor him.

The Super Eagles will meet tournament hosts Côte d’Ivoire in a West African derby final at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan on Sunday as they chase their fourth AFCON title.

It was around a month ago when Peseiro visited Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape to monitor Nwabali at the Chilli Boys, and the goalkeeper has now recalled his moment of truth.

"To me, it's just like when the coach informed me that he's coming to South Africa to visit me, it was like a dream to me because for one of the biggest coaches to have coached a national team like Nigeria coming down to my club to see me, it was a motivation to me," explained Nwabali.

"When he said he's coming to see me, I only said to myself, it's going to be a nice moment for me, just to clear that."

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The 27-year-old, who joined Chippa United in October 2022 as a replacement for Sipho Chaine – who had just left for Orlando Pirates, has played a significant role in taking the Super Eagles to their first AFCON final since 2013.

After their penalty shootout victory over Bafana Bafana on Wednesday evening, Peseiro also revealed the steps he followed in tracking Nwabali.

"I received information about this goalkeeper. It was not easy because in Africa, you never know what's happening, you cannot watch any videos via Wyscout – they [Premier Soccer League] don't allow it," said Peseiro.

"In that moment when I received the information from our [Nigerian Football Federation] president about this goalkeeper, I had to see him, which was impossible.

"I spoke with some of my friends who work in South Africa, and I asked them about him. I received information, they sent some videos and a match to me, and after that I asked NFF to go to South Africa to see him.

"I was there – I don't know how many days, watching training, meeting with him, meeting the coach at Chippa United – thank you very much to Chippa United, the goalkeeper coach, the staff.

"In four or five days, I saw one match and I concluded that this guy is quality, and capacity to defend our goal, and he's calm – he came and he took the number-one [spot].

"The only problem is, because I think it's easy to see any match in the world on Wyscout, but in South Africa, I don't know why [they don't allow it]."

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