25 February 2013

Nigeria: Three Foreign Pros Join Flying Eagles

The Flying Eagles training camp in Tunisia will swell on Thursday with the arrival of three Europe-based pros.

The overseas pros are Mikel Agu (FC Porto/Portugal), Saliu Popoola Sodiq (FC Metz/France) and Edafe Egbedi (AGF Aarhus/Denmark).

They will thus complete the 30-man provisional squad recently named for the 2013 African Youth Championship in Algeria by Head Coach Sam John Obuh.

Sodiq featured for 36 Lion of Lagos before he bagged a contract in France.

He is widely regarded as an exciting addition to the team because of his creativity in midfield.

Defensive midfielder Mikel Agu, who is with the Porto U19 team, has already trained with the team during their training tour of the eastern part of Nigeria recently.

Egbedi was part of the victorious Flying Eagles to the 2011 tournament in South Africa.

The Flying Eagles are expected to name a final 21-man squad for the 2013 AYC by the CAF deadline of March 6.

Meanwhile, Flying Eagles coach John Obuh has said the team will step up their preparations for the defence of their AYC crown in Tunisia.

"The training will be very intensive and whoever cannot cope will be asked to go home," Obuh warned when he addressed the team.

"We have a big task ahead of us as we will be the team to beat in Algeria as the defending champions and so we must do everything to keep our championship."

Obuh said the team will train twice a day except on match days with emphasis on fitness and tactical discipline.

Gammarth, which is about 24 kilometres from the capital city of Tunis, is an ideal training location for the Nigeria U20s as it will allow for total concentration.

Several other teams including the Libya full international team and Stade Tunisien, who parade one-time Nigeria Premier League hotshot Orok Akarandut, are also housed in this world-class facility.

The cold is biting and drops to near freezing conditions in the night.

"It's like getting into a fridge," lamented Flying Eagles forward Umar Aminu, who has now recovered fully from an ankle injury he suffered in a warm-up game against Benin Republic in Abuja.

However, Sunshine Stars forward Harrison Egbune said he expects the team to cope with the stinging cold.

"I played in Tunisia with Sunshine in a Champions League tie last year against Esperance and so I expected this type of weather. We will be okay," he assured.

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