AYC: Obuh picks Ajagun, 20 others for title defense

The Nigerian Flying Eagles are the defending champions.

Nigeria has picked a final list of 21 players to fly the country’s flag at the 2013 African Youth Championship holding in Algeria between March 16 and 30.

The Flying Eagles, Nigeria’s U-20 male team, are the defending champions.

On Wednesday, Head Coach, John Obuh, who also led the team to triumph in South Africa two years ago, picked three goalkeepers, seven defenders, six midfielders and five strikers as the team intensified its final preparations in Tunis.

At the top of the list is Skipper Abduljeleel Ajagun, who was part of the squad that lifted the trophy in South Africa on May 1, 2011.

There are also FIFA U-17 World Cup silver medalists, Mohammed Aliyu, Aigbe Oliha, Edafe Egbedi and Olanrewaju Kayode.

Nigeria plays Mali, Gabon and Democratic Republic of Congo, in that order, in Group B of the 12th African Youth Championship.

Host Algeria, Benin Republic, Ghana and Egypt will clash in Group A.

The Flying Eagles will play all their group matches in Oran, with their first match against Mali’s Junior Eagles coming up on March 17 and the clash with Gabon on March 20.

Three days later, they trade tackles with the Democratic Republic of Congo, who eliminated Cameroon’s Lionceux to reach their first African Youth Championship finals.

The Final Team List

Goalkeepers: Samuel Okani (Enyimba FC); Jonah Usman (ABS FC); Emmanuel Daniel (Rangers FC)
Defenders: Aigbe Oliha (Esperance Sportive de Zarzis); Goyi Aliyu (Nigeria); Abdullahi Shehu (Kano Pillars); Chizoba Amaefule (Dolphins FC); Ikechukwu Okorie (Enyimba FC); Kingsley Madu (El-Kanemi Warriors); Abubakar Hassan (Wikki Tourists FC)
Midfielders: Aminu Umar (Wikki Tourists FC); Abduljeleel Ajagun (Dolphins FC); Ovbokha Agboyi (Bayelsa United); Chidi Osuchukwu (Dolphins FC); Uche Agbo (Enyimba FC); Moses Orkuma (Lobi Stars)
Forwards: Bright Ejike (Heartland FC); Olanrewaju Kayode (Ansfed Utd, Turkey); Abdullahi Gero (Rangers FC); Christian Pyagbara (Sharks FC); Edafe Egbedi (AGF-Aarhus, Denmark)

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