TOWN were today wrestling with a dilemma over new crowd hero Efe Sodje.
The 30-year-old defender - who made a startling debut against Derby in the Carling Cup - has been a late call-up to the Nigerian international squad for next Wednesday's friendly in Japan!
It would mean Sodje flying out immediately after Saturday's Third Division clash with Boston at York Street and not returning until a week tomorrow.
Adding to the headache for manager Peter Jackson is that Town then face two matches in three days against York City at home on the Saturday and Doncaster at Belle Vue on Bank Holiday Monday.
Jackson and Sodje were today in contact with the Nigerian FA to try and find out if the ex-Crewe man would be earning a 10th cap from the start or if he is simply in the squad.
"I don't want Efe to be travelling half way round the world for nothing but, on the other hand, I don't want to stand in the way of his career at international level," said Jackson today.
"The squad was announced a couple of weeks ago and he wasn't included, so this is a very late call-up and we are just trying to sort out whether he needs to go or whether it's not worth it.
"Obviously, from our point of view, I'm not happy about it because 12,000 miles of flying is hardly the best preparation for two matches in three days - and he has a big part to play for this club.
"If he goes and plays - and Efe is definitely not retired from international football - then we'll just have to see how he is when he gets back to the McAlpine.
"If there is a positive it's the fact that he wouldn't miss any games with us, but it's a big ask for him to travel all that way."
The match, to be played in Tokyo, is part of Nigeria's long build-up to next year's African Cup of Nations campaign.
Sodje, of course, played in Japan for his country in last year's World Cup finals, featuring against Argentina in Ibaraki and Sweden in Kobe.
After that, he became a bit part player at Crewe and was allowed to move on by Dario Gradi despite having a year to run on his deal.
He has signed for two years with Town and made an outstanding debut in Tuesday's 2-1 win which puts Jackson's men into Saturday's second-round draw (5.30pm on Sky).
Boston lost 3-1 last night after conceding two late Carling Cup goals to Reading in a tie watched by Town's chief scout Jeff Lee at York Street.
Neil Redfearn, who lives in Holmfirth and was scouting at the McAlpine on Tuesday, scored the Boston goal.
"Boston play 4-4-2 like us and work very hard, so it will be tough," said Jackson, whose Academy play UCD at Bellfield in Dublin tonight (7.00) with Mark Sheridan having been called up for the Republic of Ireland Youth squad.
"The lads are really looking forward to the Boston game, though, after the way we played the other night and I just want to see the same sort of attitude."
Town have sold 1,100 of their 1,800 tickets for Saturday. Season ticket holders can now buy tickets for the match at Doncaster.