Lagos — Fourteen Nigerian junior tennis players will begin camping in Abuja today to round off their preparation for the qualifying tournament for next year's Africa Junior Championship (AJC).
The qualifier, which is scheduled for Lome, Togo from 6-13 January, is for players in the West and Central Africa sub-region, while the main championship, which runs for two weeks, will hold from the last week of March to the first week of April next year.
Speaking to Trustsports on his way to Abuja yesterday, National Junior Tennis Coach, Mohammed Ubale, said the Nigeria Tennis Federation, NTF has made all necessary arrangements to ensure that the players that will represent Nigeria prepare very well for the qualifier.
Ubale disclosed that 26 players were earlier called to the national camp, but were pruned to 14 out of which a final list of 11 players will be selected for the Togo tournament.
"We are taking six boys and five girls to the qualifying tournament in Togo, and I can tell you that those who are expected to make the list among the male players include Joseph Emeh, Emmanuel Idoko, Christopher Itodo, Michael Osewa and Ayoola Michael. In the female category are Sarah Adegoke, Mariam Madueke, Zanaib Oladimeji, Fortune Amisu and Barakat Quadri," Ubale said.
The coach said that the AJC, which was introduced in 1978 to encourage greater competition among African junior players, offers competition in three age groups - at the 14 and Under, 16 and Under and 18 and Under levels.
"I'm expecting Nigeria to have a good outing and surpass the record we made in the last edition. We came second in the 2012 edition. I think we are having a strong team this time around, so we should be expecting a good result," said Ubale.