Nigeria begin preparations for maiden participation at CHAN

The Super Eagles camp opened on Tuesday ahead of January’s African Nations Championships in South Africa almost a year after winning the AFCON trophy there

Nigeria have begun preparations for the 2014 African Nations Championship (CHAN) with hopes of winning both the continent’s big trophies at the same time.

Debutants at the second tier competition for players based in the continent’s local leagues, the Super Eagles B will go to South Africa, where the country won the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) title in February 2013, with the aim of following in the footsteps of their glorious predecessors.

Four players from the Afcon winning squad form a part of Stephen Keshi’s build up with Sunday Mba, scorer of the winning goal in the final, being one of the quartet.

The team started its camping in Nigeria’s capital Abuja on Tuesday, training at the FIFA Goal Project site of the National Stadium.

All 30 players invited arrived camp by Monday evening as directed by the Nigeria Football Federation and the technical crew and they all took part in the training session, save for Ejike Uzoenyi, who had a slight fever and was asked to rest for the day.

In the absence of head coach Stephen Keshi, his assistant, Daniel Amokachi has led the sessions assisted by Houdonou Valere and goalkeeper coach Ike Shourunmu.

Three members of the victorious U17 team are with the squad. Taiwo Awoniyi, Kelechi Iheanacho and goalkeeper Dele Alampasu have been given a chance to make the squad to South Africa.

THE FULL LIST

Goalkeepers: Chigozie Agbim (Enugu Rangers); Daniel Akpeyi (Heartland FC); Isah Danladi (Sharks FC); Sunday Alampasu (Abuja Football College)

Defenders: Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves); Ebenezer Odunlami (Sunshine Stars); Benjamin Francis (Heartland FC); Solomon Kwambe (Sunshine Stars); Bright Esieme (Enyimba FC); Yinka Adedeji (Sharks FC); Reuben Ogbonnaya (El-Kanemi Warriors); Umar Zango (Kano Pillars); Chibuzor Madu (Enugu Rangers)

Midfielders: Sunday Mba (Enugu Rangers); Etebo Oghenekaro (Warri Wolves); Rabiu Ali (Kano Pillars); Ogonna Osuchukwu (Enugu Rangers); Achiv Douglas (Lobi Stars); Kelechi Iheanacho (Taiye Academy, Owerri); Mohammed Ajia (Bayelsa United); Christian Pyagbara (Sharks FC)

Forwards: Muhammad Gambo (Kano Pillars); Ifeanyi Edeh (Enyimba FC); Barnabas Imenger (Lobi Stars); Ejike Uzoenyi (Enugu Rangers); Ezekiel Mbah (Akwa United); Obiozor Christian (Enugu Rangers); Abubakar Aliyu (Nasarawa United); Gbolahan Salami (3SC); Taiwo Awoniyi (Imperial Academy, Ilorin)

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