The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Sunday in Abuja released a list of 26 players picked for the country’s participation in the 2023 Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations in Algeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the list has 16 players from various football academies across the country, while the rest 10 are from amateur club sides.
Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets, who are five-time world champions, are scheduled to arrive in the Algerian city of Constantine on Sunday night for their final preparations for the competition.
NAN reports that the team was earlier scheduled to finalize their preparations in Germany, ahead of the competition billed for Saturday to May 19.
“Following complications that arose in the process of securing entry visa into Germany for a planned final training camp in that country, the NFF opted to send the squad earlier to Algeria for the final build-up.
”Constantine, the renowned city where the Eaglets will take on Morocco, Zambia, and South Africa in Group B, is the choice,” Ademola Olajire, NFF’s Director of Communications, said on Sunday in a statement.
NAN reports that the Eaglets, whose coaching crew is headed by Nduka Ugbade, swept all before them to win the WAFU B Under-17 Championship in Cape Coast, Ghana in June.
They have since put on display tremendous firepower in their preparations for the continental showpiece.
After resuming camp in mid-March following the break for the general elections, the Eaglets played 12 friendly matches at their FIFA Goal Project pitch base in Abuja.
They won 11 of the matches and drew the other one, scoring a total of 66 goals and conceding 14.
“We are going to Algeria with confidence but with level heads. We’re the champions of WAFU B, but in essence, nothing has been won.
“What matters now is winning a ticket to the FIFA World Cup and winning the Africa Cup. I believe we have the boys to do the job,” Ugbade was quoted as saying before the team departed Nigeria on Sunday.
Nigeria will launch their campaign for honours at the 12-team continental championship on April 30, against Zambia at the 22,000-capacity Stade Mohamed Hamlaoui.
They will then take on Morocco and South Africa in other matches in Group B.
The top four-placed teams in Algeria will qualify to represent Africa at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup finals scheduled for later this year.
THE 26 PLAYERS PICKED FOR ALGERIA 2023:
Richard Odoh (HB Football Academy)
Yahaya Danjuma Lawali (Mahanaim FC)
Emmanuel Michael (Simon Ben Football Academy)
Haruna Abdullahi (Kurfi Tigers Academy)
Tochukwu Joseph Ogboji (Purple Crown Academy)
Jeremiah Oluwaseyi Olaleke (Ablaze Football Academy)
Umar Abubakar (Devine Football Academy)
Abubakar Idris Abdullahi (Jega United)
Precious Tonye Williams (HB Football Academy)
Ifeoluwa Adewale Olowoporoku (Triple 44 Academy)
Charles Adah Agada (Mavlon FC)
Hope Yusuf Linus (E.E. Sporting Club)
Jubril Opeyemi Azeez (Right Vision Choice Academy)
Anongu Isaac Aondoakaa (FC Bathel Sporting)
Israel Nwachukwu Usulor (Real Sapphire FC)
Temiloluwa Oluwayimika Adelakin (Box2Box Academy)
Simon Karshe Cletus (Mavlon FC)
Tochukwu Simeon Ogbadibo (Jossy United)
Light Chijioke Eke (C&C Football Academy)
Favour Oluwasegun Daniel (G12 Football Academy)
Chijioke Julius Linus (Triple 44 Academy)
Quadri Oluwatobiloba Adewale (Nathaniel Boys FC)
Gift Ukeh Adie (Paul E Football Academy)
Musa Oluwaseyi Akinfenwa (Real Sapphire FC)
Usman Ajibola Owoyemi (Triple 44 Academy)
Matthew Awodi Kingsley (Brook House Academy).