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Sunday, January 2, 2022

AFCON: 16 Super Eagles players expected in Abuja

The interim Super Eagles coach, Austin Eguavoen is full of expectations as he will be welcoming the remaining players in camp tomorrow in preparation for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon.

He made this known during the training session he had with 12 players who are available at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja earlier today.

“We are expecting all the other players in camp tomorrow,” he said.

Players based in the United Kingdom are expected to report to camp on January 3.

The players based in the UK are Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Wilfred Ndidi, Emmanuel Dennis, William Troost-Ekong, Frank Onyeka, Leon Balogun and Joe Aribo.

Nigeria have been drawn in Group B alongside Egypt, Sudan and Guinea-Bissau.

The Eagles will commence their campaign against the Pharaohs on January 11 at the Roumde Adjia Stadium in Garoua.Four days later, they will face Sudan before squaring up against the Guinea-Bissau on January 19 in Garoua.

Former Nigeria captain Eguavoen, who coached the Eagles to a third-place finish at the 2006 AFCON in Egypt 15 years ago, has selected four goalkeepers, nine defenders, five midfielders and 10 forwards to aim for Nigeria’s fourth AFCON title in Cameroon.

He further said the he will be dropping players who don’t show enough commitment in his final 23-man list.

There is a lot of energy, speed and this what we need in modern football. I will be looking for commitment and the way we want to play has been broken down to them and they have aligned and the next thing is how they will go about during the training sessions,” he said.

He again expressed his disappointment at the absence of Watford in-form striker, Dennis Emmanuel who pulled out because his club refused to release him for the AFCON.

“I am very disappointed as he is in top form and his unavailability right now is painful and there is nothing anybody can do about it. The club refused despite the player and the federation made a lot of effort and that was the reason why we submitted the list late. I spoke with almost every hour but to no avail. He was eager to play for his country,” he said.

In the same vein, the team coordinator, Patrick Pascal said the technical crew will be expecting the other players who will be released by their various clubs today. He also said the team will depart the country on January 5 to Cameroon.

“We all know the situation we are in as some of the clubs will release their players tomorrow (today) and the coach is doing what he can by training with the ones available now. We are leaving on the 5th by the special grace of God,” he said.

The names of players in camp are as follows: Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France), Francis Uzoho (AC Omonia, Cyprus), Henry Onyekuru (Olympiacos, Greece), Peter Olayinka (Slavia Praha, Czech Republic).

Others are Chidozie Awaziem (Alayanspor, Turkey), Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa), Sadiq Umar (UD Almeria, Spain), Olisa Ndah (Orlando Pirates, South Africa), John Noble (Enyimba FC), Taiwo Awoniyi (Union Berlin, Germany).

I'm an avid and seasoned sports/ multimedia journalist. I have a biased love for Real Madrid and passionate advocate for the overall growth of the Nigeria Sports Project. I can be reached on 09077894123 or/and '[email protected]'

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