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John Noble: Super Eagles goalkeeper eager to play before Enyimba fans

22:10 EAT 21/04/2021
John Noble
The Super Eagle is relishing the prospect of showing his talent before fans of the People’s Elephant, claiming it is an inimitable feeling

Nigeria international John Noble is looking forward to playing before fans of Enyimba – a team he watched as a child.

The Nigeria Professional Football League as well as leagues in some parts of Africa have been played with little or no fans as a means of curbing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic across the continent.

For the goalkeeper - who teamed up with the two-time African champions from Cameroonian Elite One outfit, Panthere Sportive du Nde- playing in the presence of the Aba fans brings a ‘unique’ feeling.

“Enyimba has been a team that I have watched from childhood and they have a lot of fans. A team that many love watching and cheering,” Noble told the Enyimba website.

“Since I came to the team, I have not played in front of the fans, and I really can’t wait for that day to come.

“There is a unique feeling when you play in front of your home fans, people cheering you up when you make a great save.

“I have not witnessed that, although most of our games are shown on TV, I really want to play in front of the fans to have that unique feeling.”

Having cemented his position as Enyimba’s first choice goalie, Noble has been in awe-inspiring form for Fatai Osho’s squad – a reason why veteran Theophilus Afelokhai left the team for Rivers United.

His heroics during the second leg play-off round against the Pride of Rivers at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium - where he saved two penalties and scored the decisive goal - earned him a maiden Nigeria call up.

He was among the three goalkeepers called up by coach Gernot Rohr for the three-time African champions’ Africa Cup of Nations qualification against Benin Republic and Lesotho.

Noble is expected to be in goal for Enyimba when he faces hosts Al Ahly Benghazi in Thursday’s Confederation Cup group stage fixture billed for the Benina Martyrs Stadium.

Victory for Osho’s team would boost their chances of qualifying for the tournament’s quarter-final.

After amassing six points from four matches played so far in Group A, the Nigerians occupy second position - three points below leaders Orlando Pirates.