AFCON: Nwabali Keeps Date with History By Wilson Orji

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It’s been a Gulder Ultimate Search for the Super Eagles to get an Enyeama Vincent ’s replacement.

Ever since cancer robbed us of Carl ikeme, we have combed Europe looking for a replacement, going from Daniel Akpeyi to Madueke nd recently Uzoho.

None of them worked out well until we met “Bobo”, a player not many knew until this AFCON Tourney.

A sensational shot stopper who played football as a striker until 2018 when he was converted at 21.

WHEN GOD BLOW YOUR WHISTLE, (YOUR TIME)
YOU GO BALL, EVEN IF YOU NO WEAR BOOT 🤔

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Stanley ‘Bobo’ Nwabali hails from Okwuzi town, a neglected riverine oil rich community in Rivers state, bounded in the north by Oguta, Imo state.

Growing up on the streets of Omoku, the centre of Ogba/Egbema LGA, and later Port Harcourt, like most kids his age, he wanted to be a footballer. A striker who wanted to score goals, not catch them.

Nwabali started his career as a striker and his zeal, passion and charisma with the ball took him to Go Round FC, a club based in Omoku, Rivers State.

But was deemed ‘too slow’ by his youth coaches.

Determined to stay in the game due to his passion and with his height advantage, he’d usually take up the only available spots during training; the goal keeper position, with the aim of getting substituted by a tiring outfield player during training sessions.

It was during this time that his coaches discovered that he had a penchant for shot stopping, thus decided to convert him to a full time goal keeper.

“SOMETIMES YOUR PLANS MIGHT FAIL BUT ALWAYS TRUST THE PROCESS FOR THE BETTER”

Being a player who grew up playing more with his legs than hands gave him more confidence to play with his legs even as a keeper. After a year, he secured a top-profile move to Enyimba FC in 2019 where he won the NPFL title with the Aba Warriors.

He left after a year due to lack of playing time, for rivals side, LOBI STARS FC. And spent only a year at Lobi Stars FC before moving to Katsina United.

It was at Katsina United that he proved to be one of the best goalkeepers in the Nigeria Professional Premier League as his performances earned him “Man of the Match” awards and found him in several NPFL Team of the Week selection in 2021.

He was loved by the fans for his performances and he earned his first call-up to the National team in an international friendly against Mexico in 2021.

Nigeria lost 4-0 and later a move to South African side, Chippa United. Since then he kept praying to get another opportunity to get called up for the SE

HARD WORK ALWAYS PAYS, WHATEVER YOU DO.

After moving to Chippa United, he continued his amazing form solidifying himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the South African League, with 7 clean sheets in 14 games caught the attention of the Super Eagles Coach, Jose Peseiro, and the technical crew who called him up for the AFCON.

He featured in our friendly match against Guinea and since then has solidified his place as Nigeria’s number 1 with his stellar skills in the AFCON so far.

SUCCESS ISN’T GIVEN, IT IS EARNED.

He is currently the best goalkeeper at the AFCON as he has conceded only two goals and a stunned 2 penalty saves against South Africa for the finals.

At age 27, he’s Nigerian Number 1, he’s been scouted by some European clubs and will most likely move in the summer to a European club.

IT MIGHT DELAY BUT WHEN IT’S YOUR TIME, THE UNIVERSE WILL CONSPIRE FOR YOUR BLESSING.

Youth – Go Round FC
2019 – Enyimba
2021 – Lobi Stars
2022 – Katsina United
2022 – Chippa United
2024 – Super Eagles No. 1 Goalkeeper
2024 – Potential best goalkeeper of AFCON 2023

Nwabali Stanley, the solid Rock of Nigerians Joy!

Dear underground footballer.
Keep working, your time shall come!

I know things are tough, but brothers and sisters,

“NO GREE FOR ANYBODY!!!”

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