Siasia beefs up team with nine foreign pros
Under-23 Chief Coach, Samson Siasia, has invited Arsenal’s teenage sensation, Alex Iwobi, and eight other foreign based professionals for the first leg of the All Africa Games football event qualifying game against Gabon in Libreville.
Siasia said in a statement signed by the team media officer, Timi Ebikagboro, that the invited players were selected from among those who took part in the screening exercise held last Novemebr and December.
The invited players are, Gero Salisu Abdullahi, Iwobi Alexander Chuka, Atanda Sodiq Oluwole, Oshobe Oladele, Salisu Sadiq Popoola, Ezekiel Imoh, Paul Onwachi Ebere, Aminu Umar and Japheth Okirie.
He, however, noted that Imoh Ezekiel of Standard de Liege of Belgium and Japheth Okirie of Hadley FC, England were invited based on their club performance.
The coach informed that five players were dropped as a result of their performance, assuring that they stand a chance of being recalled should they improve.
“For now, we are expected to go to Gabon with 18 players. Only the best will make the team. There will be no automatic shirt for any body, as both the home based and their foreign counterparts will have to battle for the 18 slots,” Siasia noted.
According to him, “We have released all the home based players whose clubs are involved in continental games this weekend, but they should all be back in camp by Monday, when hopefully all the foreign based players invited would have reported.”
Players asked to go home are goalkeeper Isah Mas’ud, Effiong Emmanuel Etim, Godwin Odibo, Adetunji Sunday and Yahaya Adamu.