Daily Trust (Abuja)

12 January 2013

Nigeria: Fashanu, Onigbinde Hail Keshi's Afcon Squad

Former England player, John Fashanu, has applauded the bold decision of Chief Coach of the Super Eagles to include a good number of home-based players in his squad for the Africa Cup of Nations, which kicks off on 19 January in South Africa.

At least six of the local players from Nigeria Premier League, NPL, were included in the 23-man squad Keshi released on Wednesday, the deadline day for the release of players for the Nations Cup.

Rangers of Enugu have three of their players in the list. They are goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim, Sunday Mba and strikers Ejike Uzoenyi.

Warri Wolves have defender Azubuike Egwuekwe, Sunshine of Akure's captain, Godfrey Oboabona and Kano Pillars' defender, Reuben Gabriel.

Fashanu, who played at different times in his football career for Norwich City, Miramar Rangers, Crystal Palace, Lincoln City, Millwall and Wimbledon, said he had to commend the bold step taking by Keshi to see blending of home-based players and the professionals as the future of the senior national team.

"I think Nigerian are too impatient, what everybody wants is winning and winning all the time and we have low tolerance in this country. What Keshi is trying to do is blending the local players with the foreign based stars. That is what I can see from the list and it is good," said Fashanu, who had two caps for England against Chile and Scotland in the 1989 Rous Cup.

The former English FA Cup winner in 1988, who scored over 100 goals in all competitions called on Nigerians to support Keshi to take the Eagles to a glorious outing at the Nations Cup.

"Naturally, there will be some challenges in what Keshi is trying to do, but I know him very well that he would succeed because he has a good team.".

Former Nigerian international, Garba Lawal said he would want to see a good and strong Nigerian squad that will make the country proud at the Nations Cup.

The ex-player of Roda JC in the Dutch Eredivisie said the team Keshi is taking to the African championship is good, but he would love to see Nigeria winning the competition.

"It is a good one. I only hope we can win the cup," he said.

For Chief Adegboye Onigbinde, FIFA/CAF Instructor, Keshi has decided on the players he is taking to the Nations Cup so "what he needs from Nigerians is prayers and support. He is in the best position to choose who will play in his team and he had decided. I have no problem with the list," he said.

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