13 December 2012

Africa: Local Players Get Chance to Impress Keshi

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi named 23 players from the domestic league to begin training on 16th December ahead of next year's Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. Players from champions Kano Pillars and runners-up Enugu Rangers dominate the squad as they each provide five players.

Norway-based midfielder Fegor Ogude will also join the training camp, which opens in Abuja on Sunday.

The list of foreign-based pros is expected to be made public in the week leading to Christmas, as the team is expected to travel by 27 December for the final phase of their build-up in Faro, Portugal.

Coach Stephen Keshi has maintained that current form will be the main yardstick to be used to pick his final squad for the Nations Cup. "What we want to get is a good mix of players who can help us do well at the Nations Cup, we want to win and I know we can, but like I will always say names don't count in football anymore," said the veteran coach. "If you are good enough, come and prove it and you will be on the plane to the Nations Cup. "Objectivity is the watchword for selection of players and I promise I will stick to it."

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Chigozie Agbim (Rangers), Daniel Akpeyi (Heartland), Femi Thomas (Enyimba)

Defenders: Godfrey Oboabona, Solomon Kwambe (Sunshine Stars), Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves), Umar Zango, Papa Idris (Kano Pillars), Benjamin Francis, Kalu Orji (Heartland), Moses Bunde (Lobi)

Midfielders: Sunday Chinedu, Emeka Ezeh (Rangers), Henry Uche (Enyimba), Gabriel Reuben (Kano Pillars), Philip Asuquo (Shooting Stars), Pius Samson (Ranch Bees), Fegor Ogude (Valerenga/NOR)

Forwards: Ejide Uzoenyi, Sunday Mba (Rangers), Gomo Onduku (Sharks), Mannir Ubale, Gambo Mohammed (Kano Pillars), Anthony Okpotu (Lobi)

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