Nigeria’s national team, the Super Eagles, touched down Friday morning in the United Arab Emirates ahead of two high profile friendly matches against the national teams of Cote D’ Ivoire and Sudan.
According to the media officer for the Eagles, Ben Alaiya, the Emirates Airliner that the team boarded from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on Thursday night, landed at the Dubai International Airport at about 5:30 a.m. local time, which is 2:30 a.m. in Nigeria.
He said after airport formalities the team of 19 players and officials took a jolly bus ride from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, a journey of about an hour.
On hand to welcome the team was new face Steven Ukoh, who plays his football with Swiss side, FC Biel. He was quite joyous to link up with the Nigerian team for the first time and declared that he can’t remember Nigeria, except as a child. But he quickly mixed up with the rest of the players whom he had never met.
The team is quartered at the serene Crown Plaza Hotel in Abu Dhabi and will have its first training session by 7:30 p.m. local time, which is 4:30 p.m. in Nigeria, to start preparations for its first match against the Ivorians on Monday, January 12.
The 20 players in the Eagles squad are: Goalkeepers: Chigozie Agbim (Gombe United); Daniel Akpeyi (Warri Wolves); Theophilus Afelokhai (Kano Pillars)
Defenders: Solomon Kwambe (Sunshine Stars); Idris Aloma (El-Kanemi FC); Chimma Akas (Sharks FC); Nelson Ogbonna (Heartland FC); Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves); Bright Esieme (Enyimba FC
Midfielders: Joseph Nathaniel (Sharks FC); Charles Henlong (Giwa FC); Stanley Dimgba (Warri Wolves); Rabiu Ali (Kano Pillars); Kingsley Sokari (Enyimba FC); Austin Godspower, Steven Ukoh (FC Biel, Swizerland)
Forwards: Mfon Udoh (Enyimba FC); Gbolahan Salami (Warri Wolves);Gambo Muhammad (Kano Pillars); Christian Obiozor (Enugu Rangers).