EXCLUSIVE: ‘I had to double-check to make sure it was real’ – Kenneth Igboke on Super Eagles call

The last 18 months have been a whirlwind for Rangers left-back Kenneth Igboke, and he is determined to seize every moment.

Discovered by Rangers on the streets of Nsukka, Igboke was brought to the Enugu side, where he played a minor role last season.

However, this season, the 19-year-old has transformed into one of the league’s standout players, showcasing his talent not just for Rangers but across the entire NPFL.

Kenneth Igboke
Photo by NFF Media/Victor Modo

Igboke’s versatility as both a left back and a wing back has been a revelation, and his performances have been instrumental in propelling the Enugu side to the summit of the NPFL table.

His defensive prowess and ability to contribute offensively have marked him as a crucial player for Rangers.

With Victor Osimhen sidelined and the Super Eagles facing a shortage of options on the left side of defense, head coach Finidi George took notice of the young defender during his league travels.

Recognising Igboke’s potential, Finidi did not hesitate to extend a maiden Super Eagles call-up to the youngster.

Currently in Uyo training with the Eagles ahead of their crucial clash with Bafana Bafana, Igboke recounted his surprise at the call-up to afrik-foot.com.

Shocked but grateful

“I was actually training with my club when I received the news. I was shocked and surprised,” Igboke revealed.

“It was an unreal moment, and I had to double-check to make sure it was real. My team-mates and coaches were very happy and excited.

“They were supportive and congratulated me, which made the moments even more special,” he added.

Playing for Nigeria has always been a dream for Igboke, although he never expected it to happen so soon. He expressed his eagerness to contribute to the team if given the chance on match day.

Austin Njoku vs Kenneth Igboke
Kenneth Igbokwe (in white) challenged by Austin Njoku of Abia Warriors

“Well, I actually feel very honored and excited. I am very, very glad and happy to be invited to the Super Eagles. It is a dream come true for every footballer to represent their country at the highest level.

“I am so grateful for this opportunity, and I am also looking forward to contributing to the team, giving my best on the pitch. I hope to make my own impact and ensure that I put everything I have into helping the team succeed.

“I will give 100 percent of my mental strength and anything it takes. It's also a privilege to play alongside talented players. I am very happy for that, to learn and grow.”

Absent players present a chance for Kenneth Igboke

The upcoming World Cup qualifying match is pivotal, as Nigeria currently sit in third place in their group, trailing Rwanda, the group leaders, and South Africa.

The group also includes Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and Benin. With Ola Aina, Zaidu Sanusi, Bruno Onyemaechi, and Jamilu Collins all absent from the current squad, Igboke may just get his chance to shine against Bafana Bafana.

EXCLUSIVE: ‘I had to double-check to make sure it was real’ – Kenneth Igboke on Super Eagles call
Andrew Randa

Andrew Randa is a veteran Nigerian sports journalist with over 20 years of experience covering the beautiful game across Africa. Andrew served as a Media Officer for Nigeria's U-20 Men's National Team for three years, offering a unique perspective on the future stars of Nigerian football.

Beyond reporting, Andrew is a pioneer in sports graphics creation within Nigeria. His expertise extends to sports kit design, making him a true multi-faceted talent in the African sports landscape.

Andrew's experience is vast, with collaborations encompassing prestigious names like Kickoff, SuperSport, the NFF (Nigeria Football Federation), and the NPFL (Nigeria Professional Football League)