KESHI NAMES 24 HOME-BASED PLAYERS FOR VENEZUELA FRIENDLY
Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi
Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi has named 24 home-based players for the friendly match against Venezuela in Miami, United States of America, on November 14, as he prepares the side for January's Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
Team Secretary, Dayo Enebi Achor, advised the invited players to resume at the Bolton White Apartment camp of the team on Sunday with their international passports and two passport photographs.
The list consists of two goalkeepers, nine defenders, 13 midfielders and strikers with four players - Solomon Yaya (Kwara United), Ugwu Uwadiegu (Enyimba), Gambo Mohammed (Kano Pillars), Gomo Onduku (Sharks) and Emmanuel Ajia (Lobi) - getting their first national call-ups.
Kano Pillars' midfielder, Gabriel Reuben, gets a recall after injury sidelined him from the squad. The 2012 League Bloggers Awards Player of the Year and Best National Team Player has been ruled out for several months but if fit, he is a big boost for Keshi as he gradually aims to blend the home-based players and their foreign-based counterparts.
Niger Tornadoes' Okey Azubuike and Tony Okpotu of Lobi Stars are also in the squad after U-20 duty with the Flying Eagles.
Also invited is captain of the home-based Eagles, goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim of Warri Wolves.
Nigeria Premier League champions, Kano Pillars, supplied the highest number of players - five- while Heartland FC and Wolves had four and three players respectively.
Enyimba, Rangers, Sunshine and Lobi Stars provided two players each while Gombe United, Niger Tornadoes, Sharks and Kwara United had one player each.
Two-time champions Nigeria are in Group C of the 2013 Nations Cup alongside defending champions Zambia, former champions Ethiopia and Burkina Faso