–Dream Team Coach confirms 10 overseas based players
BY Bamidele Boluwaji:
National U-23 Eagles coach Samson Siasia has told Complete Sports that he is facing lots of pressure in a bid to pick the very best for the team as he assured that the process is in shape with the screening of home and foreign based players.
The former Super Eagles handler who spoke with Complete Sports said the players invited for screening have shown enough determination but the coaching crew of the Olympic team will work hard to present a quality team.
“Nigeria is blessed with quality players and we have seen some of these players but I must honestly tell you that it has not been that easy selecting these players. There are lots of players we have seen in the local league couple with the foreign based players, so it has been a real work,” says the ex-international.
Siasia further told Complete Sports that he will focus on the players in the domestic league so that he can have enough time to build them for the challenges ahead of the team.
“You have to learn from other people’s mistakes and I know I have to focus on the players based here in Nigeria and that’s why we have a lot of them now. These guys (overseas based players) will come and go and in the long run, they may not come because it’s not a FIFA free period so we have to focus more on the home based players, especially those we feel can help us through the qualifying period,” Siasia said.
According to the media officer of the team Timi Ebikagboro, 10 players namely Aminu Umar of Samsunspor FC, Turkey, Samuel Ayinoko of Angelholms FV, Sweden, Nansil Selbol of Sporting Kansas, USA, Fred Friday of Lillestrom, Norway, Amuzie Stanley of Sassuolo Calsio, Italy, Oladele Oshobe of Lokomotive Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Atanda Sodiq of FK Apolonia FC, Albania, Lawal Abidemi of FC Naftan and Sunday Ubale of Ukurd FC, Sweden took part in the five-day screening exercise.
Meanwhile, a new batch of foreign based professionals will begin their screening exercise this week, with four of them already in camp. They are Oke Akpoveta of Bronshoj BK, Denmark, Haruna Garba of FK Krouja, Lithuanian Alyga, Ashirumusefiu Olasunkanmi and Onuachu Paul Eber both of FC Midtjyllan, Denmark.
”A lot of them will be available from the 4th of January when the team will reconvene for the final phase of preparations for the team’s first game against Gabon in February,” he concludes.