Daily Trust (Abuja)

18 January 2013

Nigeria/South Africa: Maigari Upbeat As Eagles Arrive South Africa

Nigeria Football Federation president, Alhaji Aminu Maigari has said the Super Eagles are at the AFCON to reclaim the trophy they last won in Tunisia 19 years ago.

Speaking on arrival in Johannesburg yesterday morning, Maigari said the Eagles are battle ready.

"People have been talking about the chances of the different teams. It is nothing out of the ordinary. Some persons have gone ahead to name their favourite teams for the trophy. My own favourite team for the trophy will be the Super Eagles of Nigeria," he said.

"We have come to the finals with a fine blend of experienced and ambitious competitors; only few of them have been at the Nations Cup before. But the bulk of them have been together over the past 15 months and blended very well."

Coach Keshi on his part said the team will take each game as it comes, declaring that he was not under any pressure to deliver the trophy to Nigerians. "But we have our personal targets that we have set and we pray that we are able to achieve them to make Nigerians happy.

He also regretted that absence of Newcastle striker, Shola Ameobi, noting that his experience will have impacted positively on the Nigerian side. "We hope he will return when the World Cup qualifier start in March", Keshi said.

Team Skipper Joseph Yobo, again declared that all things being equal the SA 2013 tourney should be his last. "And I want to leave the stage by winning something for the team so that those coming behind will have something to look up to. We want Nigerians to support us and know that this young team has the ability to deliver but they must be patient with us and remain behind the team at all times".

The team, led by Enyimba boss Felix Anyansi-Agwu, landed in Johannesburg yesterday morning and arrived in Nelspruit yesterday evening and immediately checked into the Ingwenyama Conference and Sport Resort.

The players will have their first training in Nelspruit today. They take on Burkina Faso in their opening Group C match on Monday.

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