The Nigeria U-23, Dream Team VI, are back in the country after their exploits in Senegal where they emerged champions on Saturday in the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations.
The team, scheduled to arrive the Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Lagos, by 9.am, touched down at about 11.10 am on Monday owing to luggage clearance delays.
The newly-crowned African champions got a fairly rosy welcome as members of the supporters club were on hand to dish out sonorous songs to welcome back the players and officials to the country.
A small crowd, comprising mainly close relations of the players and officials, was also on hand to welcome the champions.
The team boarded an Arik flight to Abuja.
Meanwhile, all three overseas–based professionals, namely Captain Azubuike Okechukwu and forwards Junior Ajayi and Taiwo Awoniyi, have returned to their different clubs and were not part of the delegation that arrived in Nigeria.
All three players departed for their bases immediately after the team returned to its Alafifa Hotel base from the Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor on Saturday night.
One of the star performers in the squad, Emmanuel Daniel, told PREMIUM TIMES that they were proud to be heading to the Olympic Games as African champions even as he promised that they would not relent as the task ahead is quite bigger than their present feat.
“It feels good to be crowned champions, our winning secret is just hardwork and the grace of God; of course we faced many challenges but we did not allow it to get into our heads that is why we could go all the way to win the trophy”. Goalkeeper Daniel sated.
On his part, Coach of the team, Samson Siasia, said he would want to enjoy the moment for a while before he gets down to draw up the appropriate preparation plan for next year’s Olympics.