—Team To Train In USA; Face Mexico, Honduras In Friendlies
As exclusively reported by Completesportsnigeria.com weeks ago, Super Eagles captain Mikel Obi, South Africa-based goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi and Watford striker Odion Ighalo are included in Samson Siasia’s squad as the three overage players for Nigeria’s men’s football team to the Rio 2016 Olympics.
U-23s head coach Siasia has also included Manchester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho in a list of 35 players expected to fight for places in the country’s 18-man squad despite claims that the teenager will not be able to attend the games die to club commitments.
Also in the squad are Super Eagles defenders William Troost Ekong, Musa Muhammed, Stanley Amuzie, Kingsley Madu, Kenneth Omeruo and Godfrey Oboabona, midfielders Oghenekaro Etebo, Okechukwu Azubuike, Imoh Ezekiel, Usman Mohammed and Abdullahi Shehu, and forwards Alex Iwobi and Aminu Umar.
The Nigeria Football Federation have also disclosed that the team will depart the country next week for a final training camp in the United States of America ahead of this year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Siasia opted for a final training camp in Atlanta, venue of Nigeria’s historic triumph 20 years ago, in order to “psychologically prepare my boys for victory in Brazil”, according to an NFF release.
Earlier in the week, the NFF confirmed that there would be a friendly match between the Nigeria Olympic team and the U23 National Team of Mexico in Mexico on Saturday, 2nd July. The match will take place at the Aguascalientes Stadium, home ground of newly promoted top tier club, Necaxa FC, and is scheduled to start at 8.30pm Mexican time.
The NFF also announced that after the friendly, the Nigeria U23 squad will continue their training camp in the United States of America and will play Charleston Battery FC in Atlanta on Saturday, 16th July. A game against the Honduras U23 team is also being planned for 27th July.
Meanwhile, the players in Siasia’s provisional squad of 35 will train in the USA before a final list of 18 is drawn up just before the trip to Brazil.
Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa FC, South Africa), Yusuf Bala (Kano Pillars), Emmanuel Daniel (Enugu Rangers), Taiwo Abdulrahman (Kwara United), Ndubuisi Agu (FC Porto, Portugal), Junior Ajayi (CS Sfaxien, Tunisia), Stanley Amuzie (Olhanense FC, Portugal), Taiwo Awoniyi (Frankfurt FC, Germany), Okechukwu Azubuike (Yeni Malatyaspor, Turkey), Etor Daniel (Enyimba FC), Augustine Dimgba (Sunshine Stars), William Ekong (Haugesund FC, Norway), Saturday Erimuya (Kayseri Erciyespor, Turkey), Oghenekaro Etebo (CD Feirense FC, Portugal), Imoh Ezekiel (Anderlecht, Belgium), Saviour Godwin (Ostende, Belgium), Odion Ighalo (Watford FC, England), Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City, England), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England), Emiloju Julius (MFM FC), Kingsley Madu (AS Trencin, Slovakia), John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England), Musa Muhammed (Istanbul Basaksehir, Turkey), Usman Muhammed (CF Uniao, Portugal), Wilfred Ndidi (KRC Genk, Belgium), Erhun Obanor (MFM FC), Godfrey Oboabona (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey), Kenneth Omeruo (Chelsea FC, England), Sodiq Saliu (Seraing FC, Belgium), Abdullahi Shehu (CF Uniao, Portugal), Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium), Seth Sincere (Rhapsody FC), Ndifreke Udo (Abia Warriors), Aminu Umar (Osmalispor, Turkey), Sadiq Umar (AS Roma, Italy)