Thursday, 2 January 2014

Nigeria 23-Man Squad for 2014 CHAN

The breeze of the 2014 African Nations Championship Campaign (CHAN) which had been blowing since the end of 2013 will soon come through. This breeze had been stronger in Nigeria since the Nation won 2013 African Nations Cup.
Not only that, the nation’s Under-17 team come out victorious in the same year in the 2013 World Cup in United Arab Emirates and made it the fourth time of winning FIFA U-17 World Cup.

The list of the squad to play for Nigeria which was released on Tuesday night (31-12-13), a day before a new year of 2014, by the Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi. It was a surprise as some star players were not found in the list.

In totality, the 23-man squad to play for the nation in CHAN in South Africa includes goalkeepers: Chigozie Agbim from Enugu Rangers, Daniel Akpeyi from Heartland FC, and Dele Alampasu from Abuja  Football College, Nigeria U-17 goalkeeper.

The defenders are also home base players who are: Solomon Kwambe, Sunshine Stars; Francis Benjamin, Heartland FC; Azubuike Egwuekwe, Warri Wolves; Kunle Odunlami, Sunshine Stars; Ikechukwu Gabriel, Bayelsa United; Umar Zango, Kano Pillars; Bright Esieme, Enyimba FC; and Erhun Obanor from Insurance FC.

Midfielders are very important in every football team as any weakness observed from them can make a particular team weak and porous. The list of the midfielders released by Coach Stephen Keshi is: Ugonna Uzochukwu, Enugu Rangers; Rabiu Ali, Kano Pillars; Christian Pyagbara, Sharks FC; Ikenna Hilary, Sunshine Stars; Abdullahi Shehu, Kano Pillars; and Joshua Obaje, Warri Wolves.

Can the forwards released by the wonderful Super Eagles Coach do a great job to strike on targets and secure good goals for the national team? Can they really perform great and bring another gold down to Nigeria and mark it as a sign of favour and progress for the country in this New Year and Centenary celebration of the country? The list of the forward presented by the coach includes: Ejike Uzoenyi, Enugu Rangers; Gbolahan Salami, Shooting Stars;
 Barnabas Imenger, Lobi  Stars; Aliyu  Ibrahim, Nasarawa United; Christian Obiozor, Enugu Rangers; and Ifeanyi  Ede, Enyimba FC.

The likes of Victor Moses, Mikel Obi, Kelechi Iheanacho (the Golden ball winner in the 2013 U-17 World Cup), Sunday Mba and other famous Nigeria footballers will not be play in the competition because they did not participate fully in training.

Kelechi Iheanacho would have made the list but along the line left to Manchester City for his signing to play for the club, which later failed. The tournament would have been a better platform for the young footballer to showcase his talent but the situation does not work.

Finally, we look forward to see how it goes but the truth remains that the team will do well. Nigeria is featured in group A with South Africa, Mali and Mozambique. The tournament is expected to last from 11th January to 1st February, 2014.  

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