18th December, 2012
There are strong indications that Ik Uche and Osaze Odemwingie would make the list of 17 foreign-based players to be released by Coach Stephen Keshi on Friday ahead of Super Eagles’ last phase camping for the African Cup of Nations in South Africa.
Osaze, a striker of West Brom FC of England, has not featured in Eagles’ matches for months, especially in the Nations Cup qualifiers. But, reports from Abuja say the former Bendel Insurance player is in the list that Keshi will make public through the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF this weekend.
Ik Uche, who was part of the team’s build up during the qualifying series also made it, while the other prominent players expected in the squad include; captain Joseph Yobo, Nosa Igiebor, Brown Ideye, Efe Ambrose and Elderson Echiejile.
Top officials of the NFF revealed that there would be a few notable omissions, while some players will also be placed on stand-by to cover for unexpected injuries.
It was gathered that invitation letters were sent out to the clubs of the players at the weekend after a ratification of the list by the NFF.
An official of the NFF, who pleaded anonymity said: “The list is ok and it has been sent out to the clubs of the players. As usual, there would be some eyebrows raised due to the absence of some players but then not all the players can be in the team,” the official told futaa.com.
“If we have our choice we will like to have everybody in but it’s impossible, so any player who did not make the list can only stay positive and look forward to be in the team another time.”
The NFF has urged the players that were invited to be secretive about their invitation until it is made public this weekend.
Meanwhile, defender, Godfrey Oboabona has said the domestic players are ready for the 2013 Nations Cup, adding that fighting for shirts in the team won’t be do or die affair.
Oboabona is among the 22 domestic lads who hit Eagles’ camp in Abuja on Sunday for the start of training yesterday.
The Sunshine Stars strongman said his teammates are giving everything to ensure the two-time African champions clinch the Africa Cup of Nations.
“We’re in camp for serious business and battle ready for the Afcon challenge in South Africa.
“We believe South Africa will be a fertile ground for us to grab the third Africa title.
“We know it will be tough, that’s why we want to give our individual best to ensure we don’t add to the numbers but challenge for the title. “The fight for shirt will be stiff but won’t be a do-or-die affair, we believe the interest of the team is uppermost than the individual,” he said.