• Tuesday, March 05, 2024
businessday logo


Siasia poised to build a strong squad for All African Games


The Dream Team VI coach Samson Siasia has kicked start preparations ahead of next month’s All African Games slated for Brazzavile in Congo.

The Beijing 2008 Olympic gold winning coach just returned from his trip in Europe where he meet with the foreign based players. Siasia’s mission in France was to keep an eye on key players that could be making his team and also talk with their club managers to see the best way possible to release the players for the battle in Congo Brazzavile.

Siasia immediately moved to see the Nigeria Football Federation as regards the logistics in place for successful camping of the team.

The highly rated technically sound Nigeria U23 coach has invited thirty one players to compete for shirts for the African games.

Five foreign-based professionals made the cut for the 2015 All African Games camping exercise billed for Abuja this weekend.

The likes of Lucky Jimoh, Bright Onyedikachi and Olisah Ndah were handed a call up in the squad that boasts of five foreign-based players.

Siasia has earlier spoken of his desire to have Manchester City fringe player, Kelechi Iheanacho for September’s All Africa Games in Congo and November’s Africa U23 Championship in Senegal.


Siasia, who is yet to involve the 18-year old in his team, however, says he has his sights set on the youngster but admits it will depend on whether his club will release him.

“Yes, Kelechi has been in our program and in our plans but he has always been involved with his club,” Siasia said.

“We already have overseas based players in our team and if anybody wants to try out they are free to come and if Iheanacho is available he will come.”

Usual names, Taiwo Awoniyi, Kingsley Sokari and Junior Ajayi that played key roles in the team’s qualification for the sporting event also made the list have a chance to battle for a place in the final squad.

Nigeria’s Dream Team VI got zoned in a ‘Group of Death’ where they will be facing two-time champions Egypt, fierce rivals Ghana and Senegal in Group B.

The 11th edition of the African Games is scheduled for September 4th–19th, 2015 in Brazzaville, Congo. This edition marks the 50th anniversary of the Games, as well as their return to Brazzaville, which hosted the first edition in 1965.

Nigeria’s only triumph came on home soil in 1973 in Lagos.

Nigeria will feature at the men and women’s football event of the 11th All Africa Games.


List of invited players:

Daniel Emmanuel (Enugu Rangers FC); Bala Yusuf Mohammed (Kano Pillars); Erhun Obanor (Abia Warriors); Segun Oduduwa (Nath Boys); Amuzie Stanley (Sampdoria FC, Italy); Azubuike Okechukwu (Bayelsa United); Saviour Godwin (Plateau United); Etebo Oghenekaro (Warri Wolves); Junior Ajayi (3SC); Peter Onyekachi (Enyimba FC); Usman Mohammed (FC Taraba); Atanda Sodiq (Appolonia FC, Albania); Kingsley Sokari (Enyimba FC); Taiwo Awoniyi (Imperial Academy); Chima Akas (Sharks FC); Aminu Umar (Osmanispor FC, Turkey); Daniel Etor (Enyimba FC); Augustine Oladapo (FC IfeanyiUbah); Semiu Liadi (Warri Wolves); Tiongoli Tonbara (Bayelsa United); Ikechukwu Okorie; Etebong Akpan (Club Africain); Sincere Seth (Supreme Court); Abdullahi Shehu (Quadsia FC, Kuwait); Ndifreke Effiong (Abia Warriors); Abiodun Akande (3SC); Dele Alampasu; Lucky Jimoh (36 Lions); Bright Onyedikachi (FC IfeanyiUbah); Olisa Ndah; Solomon Efosa.


Anthony Nlebem