The Eagles will take on the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire in a CHAN qualifying match.
The home based Super Eagles players have begun preparations for the African Championship, CHAN, qualifying match against the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire.
The players were seen training at their camp on Monday with only Elkanemi’s Haruna Babalo, a late replacement for Tony Okputu of Lobi Stars, missing from the squad. Babalo recently signed a contract with a Libyan top division side.
In all, 23 of the 24 invited players were in camp on Monday morning. However, Kano Pillars’ Zango Umar could not train with rest of the squad as he was nursing an injury he picked up at his club’s last league clash against Dolphins of Port Harcourt.
The team’s medical crew did a scan on him to determine the extent of damage; and after consulting with Head Coach Stephen Keshi, the player was excused from camp.
Zango’s teammate at Pillars, Adamu Murtala, has been invited as his replacement.
However, Eagles’ assistant coach, Daniel Amokachi, has complained that “Murtala is foot-dragging and we want him urgently in camp here”.
Monday morning’s training featured 22 players and was supervised by Keshi at the training pitch of the Abuja National Stadium.
Keshi told the players, before training commenced, that they have the opportunity of becoming the first set of Nigerians to play in the CHAN tournament, holding in South Africa next year, if they can surmount the Ivorian hurdle.
“Let me say I have absolute confidence in you to achieve the feat of defeating Cote D’ Ivoire, but you must have belief in yourself more to achieve the set goal,” he said.
The team will train twice daily on Monday and Tuesday, before departing Abuja for Kaduna, the match venue, on Wednesday morning according to revised programme of the team.
The Eagles will resume their build up for the game on Wednesday evening in Kaduna for the game scheduled for the Ahmadu Bello Stadium on Saturday.