Nigeria’s senior locally-based players will kick-start their preparations for a first-ever appearance at the African Nations Championship on Thursday.
Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, who also manages the ‘A’ team, has invited Rangers of Enugu attacking midfielder, Sunday Mba, and 27 players to report in Abuja as the Super Eagles Team B gets set for an international friendly with the full team of Jordan, billed for the Jordanian capital, Amman, on October 28.
While Jordan will use the match to prepare for their 2014 FIFA World Cup play-off fixture against the fifth-placed team in the South American campaign (likely to be Uruguay), Keshi will have another look at his ammunition for the 2014 African Nations Championship taking place in South Africa in January.
It is the first in a long list of international games that the Nigeria Football Federation is putting together for the home boys ahead of their campaign in the Rainbow Nation.
Invited are three goalkeepers, eight defenders, nine midfielders and eight strikers.
Former ‘A’ team regular, Ejike Uzoenyi, back home from a stint in France, is a pleasant surprise on the list.
Predictably, top of Keshi’s list are the five members of his ‘A’ squad, namely goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim, defenders Azubuike Egwuekwe, Solomon Kwambe and Benjamin Francis, and midfielder Sunday Mba.
There are also other Team ‘B’ regulars like goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi, defenders Ebenezer Odunlami and Umar Zango, midfielder Etebo Oghene and forwards Muhammad Gambo, Ifeanyi Edeh, Osadiaye Joseph and Ezekiel Mbah.
Team officials have advised all invited 28 players to arrive at the team’s Bolton White Apartments abode in Abuja on Thursday, with their international passports, as visa processing for the trip will commence on Friday.
The delegation is expected to leave for Amman on October 25.
THE FULL LIST
Goalkeepers: Chigozie Agbim (Enugu Rangers); Daniel Akpeyi (Heartland FC); Okemute Odah (Warri Wolves)
Defenders: Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves); Solomon Kwambe (Sunshine Stars); Benjamin Francis (Heartland FC); Ebenezer Odunlami (Sunshine Stars); Umar Zango (Kano Pillars); Yinka Adedeji (Sharks FC); Bright Esieme (Enyimba FC); Solomon Babatunde (Nasarawa United)
Midfielders: Sunday Mba (Enugu Rangers); Etebo Oghene (Warri Wolves); Christian Oghiozor (Enugu Rangers); Rabiu Ali (Kano Pillars); Ogonna Osuchukwu (Enugu Rangers); Mohammed Garuba (Abia Warriors); Douglas Achiv (Lobi Stars); Olayinka Oyeleke (Crown FC); Christian Pyagbara (Sharks FC) Forwards: Muhammad Gambo (Kano Pillars); Ifeanyi Edeh (Enyimba FC); Barnabas Imienger (Lobi Stars); Osadiaye Joseph (Warri Wolves); Sani Mohammed (Gombe United); Ejike Uzoenyi (Enugu Rangers); Victor Namo (Nasarawa United); Ezekiel Mbah (Akwa United).