Super Eagles goalie – Adebayo Adeleye celebrates making his senior national team debut against Sierra Leone in a competitive game such as the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The 23-year-old has featured on Jose Peseiro’s call-up list since the Coach was appointed on the 16th of May 2022, starring predominantly on the bench but finally had his game time at the center stage.
Ironically, his first call-up to the team came in Super Eagles’ MatchDay 1 of the AFCON qualifying series against the same opponents – Sierra Leone, back in June 2022, but remained an unused substitute, with the same applying to the next MatchDay game against Sao Tome & Principe.
Adeleye kept cutting, in subsequent games which were International friendlies against Algeria and Portugal, but had to bid his time with Francis Uzoho retaining his first-choice jersey under Peseiro.
In the meantime, Adeleye impressed for his club side – Hapoel Jerusalem, conceding 37 goals in 29 Ligat Ha’Al appearances across the regular season and championship round, keeping 10 clean sheets.
In a post on the social media platform Twitter, Adeleye expressed his delight for getting into Peseiro’s starting eleven against the Leone Stars, a game he made crucial saves to keep the Leone Stars down at two goals, helping the team snatch a late winner through Kelechi Ịheanachọ at the other end of the pitch.
@GAAdebayoAdeleye on Twitter: “Dream debut done and dusted. Thank you to everyone for believing in me & for the support.”
Adeleye signed a seven-year contract with his club Hapoel Jerusalem back in 2019 and still has three years left on his contract, with the Southwestern Nigerian likely following in the footsteps of former international and Super Eagles icon – Vincent Enyeama, who dazzled in the Israeli League in his time.
Enyeama played for three different Ligat Ha’Al clubs, noting his two-year stint with Bnei Yehuda from 2005 to 2007, before moving to Hapoel Tel Aviv for about €300,000 panning three years. Vincent also played for Maccabi Tel Aviv while on a season-long loan spell from French club Lille between 2012 and 2013.
Two more years added to Adeleye’s club career in the Israeli League will see him equal the number of years Enyeama spent, albeit he needs 100 more international caps to do the same for the Super Eagles, with his debut starting on a winning note.