–Fivehome based players decamped ahead of Gabon clash
Chief Coach of the National U-23 Eagles, Samson Siasia has invited Arsenal’s teenage sensation Alex Iwobi and 8 other foreign based professional players for the crucial first leg match of the All Africa Games qualifying game against Gabon on Libreville.
A statement by the media officer of the team Timi Ebikagboro quotes coach Siasia as saying that the invited foreign based players were selected from the players who came for the screening exercise earlier, in December and November, adding that the likes of Imoh Ezekiel of Standard de Liege of Belgium and Japheth Okirie of Hadley FC, England were selected based on their club performance.
Coach Siasia disclosed that five players from the home based players in camp were dropped due to the fact that they could not meet up with the standard of the team, but assured them that if they improve on their game, they stand a chance of being recalled to join the team.
“For now we are expected to go to Gabon with 18 players, so only the best will make this team, there will be no automatic shirt for anybody, as both the home based and their foreign counterparts will have to battle for the 18 slots” Siasia added.
Speaking further he said, “we have released all the home based players whose clubs are involved in continental games this weekend, but they should all be back in camp by Monday, when hopefully all the foreign based players invited would also have reported to camp, then we will raise the stake”
The invited foreign based players are, Gero Salisu Abdullahi, Iwobi Alexander Chuka, Atanda Sodiq Oluwole, Oshobe Oladele, Salisu Sadiq Popoola, Ezekiel Imoh, Paul Onwachi Ebere, Aminu Umar and Japheth Okirie.
While the dropped home based players are goalkeeper Isah Mas’ud, Effiong Emmanuel Etim, Godwin Odibo, Adetunji Sunday, and Yahaya Adamu.