Super Eagles interim Head Coach, Augustine Eguavoen, has stated the reasons behind his inability to invite home-based players to be part of his 28-man squad for the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
It will be noted that Enyimba’s goalkeeper, John Noble, is the only player from the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) in the squad.
“The challenge for us is the little time we have to prepare for the competition. That didn’t give us room to invite more home-based players,” the former defender told a virtual media session on Tuesday.
“I initially wanted to include four or five players from the NPFL in the team, but there was no way we could do that with the limited time we have to prepare for the competition.
The former Nigerian international stressed that the late Stephen Keshi used five players from the domestic league to win the 2013 edition in South Africa because he had ample time to train with the NPFL players.
“During Keshi’s time, they had enough time to prepare the team. The team spent quality time together and also played friendly games,” recalled Eguavoen fondly called Cerezo in his days with the senior national team.
The Eagles will open their 2021 AFCON campaign on Tuesday against seven-time champions Egypt. Sudan and Guinea Bisau are the other teams in Group D with Nigeria.