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Etafia happy to be part of Super Eagles setup 24/02/04
Moroka Swallows' number one goalkeeper Greg Etafia, has just returned from the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Tunisia, where he was a member of the Super Eagles squad which finished in third place.

The young keeper shares some of his experiences with us...

How was the atmosphere in Tunisia in the Nigeria camp?

Greg: One thing about our squad which impressed me was the obvious love and passion the players had for playing for our country. The atmosphere was great and it felt as if we had all being playing together for a long time.

What was the influence of Jay Jay Okocha on the team?

Greg: Okocha is a born leader and the way in which he is able to motivate the other players is amazing. He personally took it upon himself to speak to every player, one on one, every day of our stay in Tunisia.

After losing to Morocco in the first game, what did coach Christian Chukwu say to the team?

Greg: We never really thought that we were going to be beaten by Morocco, but after that the coach and Jay Jay said we have to focus on the Bafana Bafana game. We really made sure that we were not going to lose to South Africa.

Was the sending home of Celestine Babayaro, Yakubu Aiyegbeni and Victor Agali the right thing to do?

Greg: Whatever happened in Tunisia is not something I as a player can comment on because it will be unfair for me to take sides.

How was the feeling after having beaten the Indomitable Lions?

Greg; After beating Cameroon, we all thought that we were going to go on and lift the African Cup of Nations because Cameroon was the our biggest threat.

How was the  feeling on the bench when Nigeria and Tunisia went to the penalties shoot out?

Greg: When the match went to penalties, it was a very tense moment for the players on the bench because no matter how good one is, shoot outs are never predictable.

Where do you see your country in the next two years?

Greg: If the current team stays together and the coaching setup is not changed, we have the right players who will not only win the next African Cup, but who will turn heads at the 2006 World Cup.

When are you going to get a chance in the first 11 of the Nigeria national team?

Greg: At the moment it's not about when I will be in the starting line up, but the important fact is that I am part of the Nigerian national team.

If one looks at the number of Nigerian goalkeepers playing overseas, then one should pay respect to Moroka Swallows and the South African soccer league because I was chosen ahead most of the overseas based goalkeepers.

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